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The  Secret  Teachings  Of  All  ages 


MASONIC,  hermetic, 
Being  an  Interpretation  of  the 
Secret  Teachings  concealed  within  the  Rituals,  Allegories, 
and  Mysteries  of  all  Ages 

Manly  P.  Hall 


[1928,  no  renewal] 



NUMEROUS  volumes  have  been  written  as  commentaries  upon  the  secret  systems  of  philosophy 
existing  in  the  ancient  world,  but  the  ageless  truths  of  life,  like  many  of  the  earth's  greatest  thinkers, 
have  usually  been  clothed  in  shabby  garments.  The  present  work  is  an  attempt  to  supply  a  tome 
worthy  of  those  seers  and  sages  whose  thoughts  are  the  substance  of  its  pages.  To  bring  about  this 
coalescence  of  Beauty  and  Truth  has  proved  most  costly,  but  I  believe  that  the  result  will  produce  an 
effect  upon  the  mind  of  the  reader  which  will  more  than  justify  the  expenditure. 

Work  upon  the  text  of  this  volume  was  begun  the  first  day  of  January,  1926,  and  has  continued  almost 
uninterruptedly  for  over  two  years.  The  greater  part  of  the  research  work,  however,  was  carried  on 
prior  to  the  writing  of  the  manuscript.  The  collection  of  reference  material  was  begun  in  1921,  and 
three  years  later  the  plans  for  the  book  took  definite  form.  For  the  sake  of  clarity,  all  footnotes  were 
eliminated,  the  various  quotations  and  references  to  other  authors  being  embodied  in  the  text  in  their 
logical  order.  The  bibliography  is  appended  primarily  to  assist  those  interested  in  selecting  for  future 
study  the  most  authoritative  and  important  items  dealing  with  philosophy  and  symbolism.  To  make 
readily  accessible  the  abstruse  information  contained  in  the  book,  an  elaborate  topical  cross  index  is 

I  make  no  claim  for  either  the  infallibility  or  the  originality  of  any  statement  herein  contained.  I  have 
studied  the  fragmentary  writings  of  the  ancients  sufficiently  to  realize  that  dogmatic  utterances 
concerning  their  tenets  are  worse  than  foolhardy.  Traditionalism  is  the  curse  of  modern  philosophy, 
particularly  that  of  the  European  schools.  While  many  of  the  statements  contained  in  this  treatise 
may  appear  at  first  wildly  fantastic,  I  have  sincerely  endeavored  to  refrain  from  haphazard 
metaphysical  speculation,  presenting  the  material  as  far  as  possible  in  the  spirit  rather  than  the  letter 
of  the  original  authors.  By  assuming  responsibility  only  for  the  mistakes  which  may'  appear  herein,  I 
hope  to  escape  the  accusation  of  plagiarism  which  has  been  directed  against  nearly  every  writer  on 
the  subject  of  mystical  philosophy. 

Having  no  particular  ism  of  my  own  to  promulgate,  I  have  not  attempted  to  twist  the  original  writings 
to  substantiate  preconceived  notions,  nor  have  I  distorted  doctrines  in  any  effort  to  reconcile  the 
irreconcilable  differences  present  in  the  various  systems  of  religio-philosophic  thought. 

The  entire  theory  of  the  book  is  diametrically  opposed  to  the  modem  method  of  thinking,  for  it  is 
concerned  with  subjects  openly  ridiculed  by  the  sophists  of  the  twentieth  century.  Its  true  purpose  is 
to  introduce  the  mind  of  the  reader  to  a  hypothesis  of  living  wholly  beyond  the  pale  of  materialistic 
theology,  philosophy,  or  science.  The  mass  of  abstruse  material  between  its  covers  is  not  susceptible 
to  perfect  organization,  but  so  far  as  possible  related  topics  have  been  grouped  together. 

Rich  as  the  English  language  is  in  media  of  expression,  it  is  curiously  lacking  in  terms  suitable  to  the 
conveyance  of  abstract  philosophical  premises.  A  certain  intuitive  grasp  of  the  subtler  meanings 
concealed  within  groups  of  inadequate  words  is  necessary  therefore  to  an  understanding  of  the 
ancient  Mystery  Teachings. 

Although  the  majority  of  the  items  in  the  bibliography  are  in  my  own  library,  I  wish  to  acknowledge 
gratefully  the  assistance  rendered  by  the  Public  Libraries  of  San  Francisco  and  Los  Angeles,  the 
libraries  of  the  Scottish  Rite  in  San  Francisco  and  Los  Angeles,  the  libraries  of  the  University  of 
California  in  Berkeley  and  Los  Angeles,  the  Mechanics'  Library  in  San  Francisco,  and  the  Krotona 
Theosophical  Library  at  Ojai,  California.  Special  recognition  for  their  help  is  also  due  to  the  following 
persons:  Mrs.  Max  Heindel,  Mrs.  Alice  Palmer  Henderson,  Mr.  Ernest  Dawson  and  staff,  Mr.  John 

Howell,  Mr.  Paul  Elder,  Mr.  Phillip  Watson  Hackett,  and  Mr.  John  R.  Ruckstell.  Single  books  were 
lent  by  other  persons  and  organizations,  to  whom  thanks  are  also  given. 

The  matter  of  translation  was  the  greatest  single  task  in  the  research  work  incident  to  the  preparation 
of  this  volume.  The  necessary 

p.  6 

German  translations,  which  required  nearly  three  years,  were  generously  undertaken  by  Mr.  Alfred 
Beri,  who  declined  all  remuneration  for  his  labor.  The  Latin,  Italian,  French,  and  Spanish  translations 
were  made  by  Prof.  Homer  P.  Earle.  The  Hebrew  text  was  edited  by  Rabbi  Jacob  M.  Alkow. 
Miscellaneous  short  translations  and  checking  also  were  done  by  various  individuals. 

The  editorial  work  was  under  the  supervision  of  Dr.  C.  B.  Rowlingson,  through  whose  able  efforts 
literary  order  was  often  brought  out  of  literary  chaos.  Special  recognition  is  also  due  the  services 
rendered  by  Mr.  Robert  B.  Tummonds,  of  the  staff  of  H.  S.  Crocker  Company,  Inc.,  to  whom  were 
assigned  the  technical  difficulties  of  fitting  the  text  matter  into  its  allotted  space.  For  much  of  the 
literary  charm  of  the  work  I  am  also  indebted  to  Mr.  M.  M.  Saxton,  to  whom  the  entire  manuscript 
was  first  dictated  and  to  whom  was  also  entrusted  the  preparation  of  the  index.  The  splendid  efforts 
of  Mr.  J.  Augustus  Knapp,  the  illustrator,  have  resulted  in  a  series  of  color  plates  which  add  materially 
to  the  beauty  and  completeness  of  the  work.  Q  The  printing  of  the  book  was  in  the  hands  of  Mr. 
Frederick  E.  Keast,  of  H.  S.  Crocker  Company,  Inc.,  whose  great  personal  interest  in  the  volume  has 
been  manifested  by  an  untiring  effort  to  improve  the  quality  thereof  Through  the  gracious 
cooperation  of  Dr.  John  Henry  Nash,  the  foremost  designer  of  printing  on  the  American  Continent, 
the  book  appears  in  a  unique  and  appropriate  form,  embodying  the  finest  elements  of  the  printer's 
craft.  An  increase  in  the  number  of  plates  and  also  a  finer  quality  of  workmanship  than  was  first 
contemplated  have  been  made  possible  by  Mr.  C.  E.  Benson,  of  the  Los  Angeles  Engraving  Company, 
who  entered  heart  and  soul  into  the  production  of  this  volume. 

The  pre-publication  sale  of  this  book  has  been  without  known  precedent  in  book  history.  The 
subscription  list  for  the  first  edition  of  550  copies  was  entirely  closed  a  year  before  the  manuscript 
was  placed  in  the  printer's  hands.  The  second,  or  King  Solomon,  edition,  consisting  of  550  copies,  and 
the  third,  or  Theosophical,  edition,  consisting  of  200  copies,  were  sold  before  the  finished  volume  was 
received  from  the  printer.  For  so  ambitious  a  production,  this  constitutes  a  unique  achievement.  The 
credit  for  this  extraordinary  sales  program  belongs  to  Mrs.  Maud  F.  Galigher,  who  had  as  her  ideal 
not  to  sell  the  book  in  the  commercial  sense  of  the  word  but  to  place  it  in  the  hands  of  those 
particularly  interested  in  the  subject  matter  it  contains.  Valuable  assistance  in  this  respect  was  also 
rendered  by  numerous  friends  who  had  attended  my  lectures  and  who  without  compensation 
undertook  and  successfully  accomplished  the  distribution  of  the  book. 

In  conclusion,  the  author  wishes  to  acknowledge  gratefully  his  indebtedness  to  each  one  of  the 
hundreds  of  subscribers  through  whose  advance  payments  the  publication  of  this  folio  was  made 
possible.  To  undertake  the  enormous  expense  involved  was  entirely  beyond  his  individual  means  and 
those  who  invested  in  the  volume  had  no  assurance  of  its  production  and  no  security  other  than  their 
faith  in  the  integrity  of  the  writer. 

I  sincerely  hope  that  each  reader  will  profit  from  the  perusal  of  this  book,  even  as  I  have  profited  from 
the  writing  of  it.  The  years  of  labor  and  thought  expended  upon  it  have  meant  much  to  me.  The 
research  work  discovered  to  me  many  great  truths;  the  writing  of  it  discovered  to  me  the  laws  of  order 
and  patience;  the  printing  of  it  discovered  to  me  new  wonders  of  the  arts  and  crafts;  and  the  whole 
enterprise  has  discovered  to  me  a  multitude  of  friends  whom  otherwise  I  might  never  have  known. 
And  so,  in  the  words  of  John  Bunyan: 

It  down,  until  at  last  it  came  to  be, 
For  length  and  breadth,  the  bigness  which  you  see. 


Los  Angeles,  California 

May  28,1928 


Table  of  Contents 







Ancient  systems  of  education—Celsus  concerning  the  Christians—Knowledge  necessary  21 
to  right  hving~The  Druidic  Mysteries  of  Britain  and  Gaul—The  Rites  of  Mithras— The 
Mithraic  and  Christian  Mysteries  contrasted. 


The  Gnostic  Mysteries— Simon  Magus  and  Basilides— Abraxas,  the  Gnostic  concept  of 

Deity— The  Mysteries  of  Serapis— Labyrinth  symbolism— The  Odinic,  or  Gothic, 



The  Eleusinian  Mysteries— The  Lesser  Rites— The  Greater  Rites— The  Orphic  Mysteries-  29 
-The  Bacchic  Mysteries— The  Dionysiac  Mysteries. 


Plato's  Atlantis  in  the  light  of  modern  science-The  Myth  of  the  Dying  God-The  Rite  of 
Tammuz  and  Ishtar— The  Mysteries  of  Atys  and  Adonis-The  Rites  of  Sabazius— The 
Cabiric  Mysteries  of  Samothrace. 


Suppositions  concerning  identity  of  Hermes— The  mutilated  Hermetic  fragments— The 
Book  of  Thoth— Poimandres,  the  Vision  of  Hermes— The  Mystery  of  Universal  Mind— 
The  Seven  Governors  of  the  World. 


The  opening  of  the  Great  Pyramid  by  Caliph  at  Mamoun— The  passageways  and 
chambers  of  the  Great  Pyramid— The  riddle  of  the  Sphinx— The  Pyramid  Mysteries— 
The  secret  of  the  Pyramid  coffer-The  dwelling  place  of  the  Hidden  God. 


The  birthdays  of  the  gods— The  murder  of  Osiris— The  Hermetic  Isis— The  symbols  45 
peculiar  to  Isis— The  Troubadours— The  mummification  of  the  dead. 


The  Solar  Trinity-Christianity  and  the  Sun— The  birthday  of  the  Sun— The  three  Suns—  49 
The  celestial  inhabitants  of  the  Sun— The  midnight  Sun. 


Primitive  astronomical  instruments— The  equinoxes  and  solstices— The  astrological 
ages  of  the  world— The  circular  zodiac  of  Tentyra— An  interpretation  of  the  zodiacal 
signs— The  horoscope  of  the  world. 


Plato's  initiation  in  the  Great  Pyramid— The  history  of  the  Bembine  Table— Platonic 
theory  of  ideas— The  interplay  of  the  three  philosophical  zodiacs— The  Chaldean 
philosophy  of  triads— The  Orphic  Egg. 


The  ever-burning  lamps— The  oracle  of  Delphi— The  Dodonean  oracle— The  oracle  of 


Trophonius—The  initiated  architects—The  Seven  Wonders  of  the  world. 

Pythagoras  and  the  School  of  Crotona—Pythagoric  fundamentals—The  symmetrical  . 
solids— The  symbolic  aphorisms  of  Pythagoras— Pythagorean  astronomy— Kepler's 
theory  of  the  universe. 


The  theory  of  numbers— The  numerical  values  of  letters— Method  of  securing  the  ^ 
numerical  Power  of  words— An  introduction  to  the  Pythagorean  theory  of  numbers— 
The  sieve  of  Eratosthenes— The  meanings  of  the  ten  numbers. 

The  philosophical  manikin— The  three  universal  centers— The  temples  of  initiation—  73 
The  hand  in  symbolism— The  greater  and  lesser  man— The  Anthropos,  or  Oversoul. 


The  building  of  Solomon's  Temple— The  murder  of  CHiram  Abiff— The  martyrdom  of 
Jacques  de  Molay— The  spirit  fire  and  the  pineal  gland— The  wanderings  of  the 
astronomical  CHiram— Cleopatra's  Needle  and  Masons'  marks. 


Pythagoras  and  the  diatonic  scale— Therapeutic  music— The  music  of  the  spheres— The 
use  of  color  in  symbolism— The  colors  of  the  spectrum  and  the  musical  scale— Zodiacal 
and  planetary  colors. 


Jonah  and  the  whale— The  fish  the  symbol  of  Christ— The  Egyptian  scarab— Jupiter's  85 

fly— The  serpent  of  wisdom— The  sacred  crocodile. 

The  dove,  the  yonic  emblem— The  self -renewing  phcenix— The  Great  Seal  of  the  United 
States  of  America— Bast,  the  cat  goddess  of  the  Ptolemies— Apis,  the  sacred  bull— The 
monoceros,  or  unicorn. 


The  flower,  a  phallic  symbol— The  lotus  blossom— The  Scandinavian  World  Tree, 
Yggdrasil— The  sprig  of  acacia— The  juice  of  the  grape— The  magical  powers  of  the 


Prehistoric  monuments— The  tablets  of  the  Law— The  Holy  Grail— The  ages  of  the  97 
world— Talismanic  jewels— Zodiacal  and  planetary  stones  and  gems. 


The  black  magic  of  Egypt— Doctor  Johannes  Faustus— The  Mephistopheles  of  the 
Grimores— The  invocation  of  spirits— Pacts  with  demons— The  symbolism  of  the 

p.  8 


The  Paracelsian  theory  of  submundanes— The  orders  of  elemental  beings— The 
Gnomes,  Undines,  Salamanders,  and  Sylphs— Demonology— The  incubus  and 
succubus— Vampirism. 

The  healing  methods  of  Paracelsus— Palingenesis— Hermetic  theories  concerning  the 
cause  of  disease— Medicinal  properties  of  herbs— The  use  of  drugs  in  the  Mysteries— 
The  sect  of  the  Assassins. 


The  written  and  unwritten  laws— The  origin  of  the  Qabbalistic  writings— Rabbi  Simeon  113 
ben  Jochai— The  great  Qabbalistic  books— The  divisions  of  the  Qabbalistic  system— The 




Sepher  Yetzirah. 


and  the  Cosmic  Egg—The  Qabbahstic  system  of  worlds—The  Qabbahstic  interpretation 
of  Ezekiel's  vision— The  great  image  of  Nebuchadnezzar's  dream— The  Grand  Man  of 
the  universe— The  fifty  gates  of  hfe. 


The  thirty-two  paths  of  wisdom— The  Greater  and  the  Lesser  Face— Kircher's 
Sephirothic  Tree— The  mystery  of  Daath— The  three  pillars  supporting  the  Sephirothic 
Tree— The  four  letters  of  the  Sacred  Name. 


Gematria,  Notarikon,  and  Temurah— The  Elohim— The  four  Adams— Arabian  traditions 


concerning  Adam— Adam  as  the  archetype  of  mankind— The  early  Christian  Church  on 
the  subject  of  marriage. 


The  origin  of  playing  cards— The  rota  mundi  of  the  Rosicrucians— The  problem  of  Tarot 
symbolism— The  unnumbered  card— The  symbolism  of  the  twenty-one  major  trumps— 
The  suit  cards. 


Moses,  the  Egyptian  initiate— The  building  of  the  Tabernacle— The  furnishings  of  the  133 
Tabernacle— The  Ark  of  the  Covenant— The  Robes  of  Glory— The  Urim  and  Thummim. 


The  life  of  Father  C.R.C.— Johann  Valentin  Andreas— The  alchemical  teachings  of  the 
Rosicrucians— Significance  of  the  Rose  Cross— The  Rosicrucian  Temple— The  adepts  of 
the  Rose  Cross. 


The  Confessio  Fraternitatis—The  Anatomy  of  Melancholy— John  Heydon  on 
Rosicrucianism— The  three  mountains  of  the  wise— The  philosophical  egg— The  objects 
of  the  Rosicrucian  Order. 


Schamayim,  the  Ocean  of  Spirit— The  Seven  Days  of  Creation— The  symbolic  tomb  of 
Christian  Rosencreutz— The  regions  of  the  elements— The  New  Jerusalem— The  grand 
secret  of  Nature. 


The  multiplication  of  metals— The  medal  of  Emperor  Leopold  I— Paracelsus  of  149 
Hohenheim— Raymond  Lully— Nicholas  Flarnmel— Count  Bernard  of  Treviso. 


The  origin  of  alchemical  philosophy— Alexander  the  Great  and  the  talking  trees— Nature  153 
and  art— Alchemical  symbolism— The  Song  of  Solomon— The  Philosopher's  Gold. 


The  alchemical  prayer— The  Emerald  Tablet  of  Hermes— A  letter  from  the  Brothers  of 
R.C.— The  magical  Mountain  of  the  Moon— An  alchemical  formula— The  dew  of  the 


Christian  Rosencreutz  is  invited  to  the  Chemical  Wedding— The  Virgo  Lucifera— The 
philosophical  Inquisition— The  Tower  of  Olympus— The  homunculi— The  Knights  of  the 
Golden  Stone. 


The  Rosicrucian  mask— Life  of  William  Shakspere— Sir  Francis  Bacon— The  acrostic  165 

signatures— The  significant  number  thirty-three— The  philosophic  death. 


Secret  alphabets—The  biUteral  cipher—Pictorial  ciphers— Acroamatic  ciphers- 
Numerical  and  musical  ciphers— Code  ciphers. 


The  pillars  raised  by  the  sons  of  Seth— Enoch  and  the  Royal  Arches— The  Dionysiac 
Architects— The  Roman  Collegia— Solomon,  the  personification  of  Universal  Wisdom—  ^'^^ 
Freemasonry's  priceless  heritage. 

St.  Iranseus  on  the  life  of  Christ— The  original  name  of  Jesus— The  Christened  man—  177 
The  Essenes— The  Arthurian  cycle— Merlin  the  Mage. 


The  Aurea  Legenda— The  lost  libraries  of  Alexandria— The  cross  in  pagan  S5niibolism— 
The  crucifixion,  a  cosmic  allegory— The  crucifixion  of  Quetzalcoatl— The  nails  of  the 


The  sacred  city  of  Ephesus— The  authorship  of  the  Apocalypse— The  Alpha  and  Omega-  185 
-The  Lamb  of  God-The  Four  Horsemen-The  number  of  the  beast. 


The  life  of  Mohammed— The  revelation  of  the  Koran— The  valedictory  pilgrimage— The  189 
tomb  of  the  Prophet— The  Caaba  at  Mecca— The  secret  doctrine  of  Islam. 


The  ceremony  of  the  peace  pipe— The  historical  Hiawatha— The  Popol  Vu/i— American  193 
Indian  sorcery— The  Mysteries  of  Xibalba— The  Midewiwin. 


The  Golden  Chain  of  Homer— Hypatia,  the  Alexandrian  Neo-Platonist— The  "divine" 
Cagliostro— The  Comte  de  St. -Germain— The  designing  of  the  American  flag— The  "^^^ 
Declaration  of  Independence. 

INDEX  207 

p.  12  p.  13 


PHILOSOPHY  is  the  science  of  estimating  values.  The  superiority  of  any  state  or  substance  over 
another  is  determined  by  philosophy.  By  assigning  a  position  of  primary  importance  to  what  remains 
when  all  that  is  secondary  has  been  removed,  philosophy  thus  becomes  the  true  index  of  priority  or 
emphasis  in  the  realm  of  speculative  thought.  The  mission  of  philosophy  a  priori  is  to  establish  the 
relation  of  manifested  things  to  their  invisible  ultimate  cause  or  nature. 

"Philosophy,"  writes  Sir  William  Hamilton,  "has  been  defined  [as]:  The  science  of  things  divine  and 
human,  and  of  the  causes  in  which  they  are  contained  [Cicero];  The  science  of  effects  by  their  causes 
[Hobbes];  The  science  of  sufficient  reasons  [Leibnitz];  The  science  of  things  possible,  inasmuch  as 
they  are  possible  [Wolf];  The  science  of  things  evidently  deduced  from  first  principles  [Descartes]; 
The  science  of  truths,  sensible  and  abstract  [de  Condillac];  The  application  of  reason  to  its  legitimate 
objects  [Tennemann];  The  science  of  the  relations  of  all  knowledge  to  the  necessary  ends  of  human 
reason  [Kant];The  science  of  the  original  form  of  the  ego  or  mental  self  [Krug];  The  science  of 
sciences  [Fichte];  The  science  of  the  absolute  [von  Schelling];  The  science  of  the  absolute  indifference 
of  the  ideal  and  real  [von  Schelling] —or.  The  identity  of  identity  and  non-identity  [Hegel]."  (See 
Lectures  on  Metaphysics  and  Logic.) 

The  six  headings  under  which  the  disciplines  of  philosophy  are  commonly  classified  are:  metaphysics, 
which  deals  v^th  such  abstract  subjects  as  cosmology,  theology,  and  the  nature  of  being;  logic,  which 
deals  with  the  laws  governing  rational  thinking,  or,  as  it  has  been  called,  "the  doctrine  of  fallacies"; 
ethics,  which  is  the  science  of  morality,  individual  responsibility,  and  character— concerned  chiefly 
with  an  effort  to  determine  the  nature  of  good;  psychology,  which  is  devoted  to  investigation  and 
classification  of  those  forms  of  phenomena  referable  to  a  mental  origin;  epistemology,  which  is  the 
science  concerned  primarily  with  the  nature  of  knowledge  itself  and  the  question  of  whether  it  may 
exist  in  an  absolute  form;  and  aesthetics,  which  is  the  science  of  the  nature  of  and  the  reactions 
awakened  by  the  beautiful,  the  harmonious,  the  elegant,  and  the  noble. 

Plato  regarded  philosophy  as  the  greatest  good  ever  imparted  by  Divinity  to  man.  In  the  twentieth 
century,  however,  it  has  become  a  ponderous  and  complicated  structure  of  arbitrary  and 
irreconcilable  notions—yet  each  substantiated  by  almost  incontestible  logic.  The  lofty  theorems  of  the 
old  Academy  which  lamblichus  likened  to  the  nectar  and  ambrosia  of  the  gods  have  been  so 
adulterated  by  opinion—which  Heraclitus  declared  to  be  a  falling  sickness  of  the  mind— that  the 
heavenly  mead  would  now  be  quite  unrecognizable  to  this  great  Neo-Platonist.  Convincing  evidence 
of  the  increasing  superficiality  of  modern  scientific  and  philosophic  thought  is  its  persistent  drift 
towards  materialism.  When  the  great  astronomer  Laplace  was  asked  by  Napoleon  why  he  had  not 
mentioned  God  in  his  Traite  de  la  Mecanique  Celeste,  the  mathematician  naively  replied:  "Sire,  I  had 
no  need  for  that  hypothesis!" 

In  his  treatise  on  Atheism,  Sir  Francis  Bacon  tersely  summarizes  the  situation  thus:  "A  little 
philosophy  inclineth  man's  mind  to  atheism;  but  depth  in  philosophy  bringeth  men's  minds  about  to 
religion."  The  Metaphysics  of  Aristotle  opens  with  these  words:  "All  men  naturally  desire  to  know."  To 
satisfy  this  common  urge  the  unfolding  human  intellect  has  explored  the  extremities  of  imaginable 
space  without  and  the  extremities  of  imaginable  self  within,  seeking  to  estimate  the  relationship 
between  the  one  and  the  all;  the  effect  and  the  cause;  Nature  and  the  groundwork  of  Nature;  the  mind 
and  the  source  of  the  mind;  the  spirit  and  the  substance  of  the  spirit;  the  illusion  and  the  reality. 

An  ancient  philosopher  once  said:  "He  who  has  not  even  a  knowledge  of  common  things  is  a  brute 
among  men.  He  who  has  an  accurate  knowledge  of  human  concerns  alone  is  a  man  among  brutes.  But 

he  who  knows  all  that  can  be  known  by  intellectual  energy,  is  a  God  among  men."  Man's  status  in  the 

natural  world  is  determined,  therefore,  by  the  quality  of  his  thinking.  He  whose  mind  is  enslaved  to 
his  bestial  instincts  is  philosophically  not  superior  to  the  brute-,  he  whose  rational  faculties  ponder 
human  affairs  is  a  man;  and  he  whose  intellect  is  elevated  to  the  consideration  of  divine  realities  is 
already  a  demigod,  for  his  being  partakes  of  the  luminosity  with  which  his  reason  has  brought  him 
into  proximity.  In  his  encomium  of  "the  science  of  sciences"  Cicero  is  led  to  exclaim:  "O  philosophy, 
life's  guide!  O  searcher— out  of  virtue  and  expeller  of  vices!  What  could  we  and  every  age  of  men  have 
been  without  thee?  Thou  hast  produced  cities;  thou  hast  called  men  scattered  about  into  the  social 
enjoyment  of  life." 

In  this  age  the  word  philosophy  has  little  meaning  unless  accompanied  by  some  other  qualifying  term. 
The  body  of  philosophy  has  been  broken  up  into  numerous  isms  more  or  less  antagonistic,  which 
have  become  so  concerned  with  the  effort  to  disprove  each  other's  fallacies  that  the  sublimer  issues  of 
divine  order  and  human  destiny  have  suffered  deplorable  neglect.  The  ideal  function  of  philosophy  is 
to  serve  as  the  stabilizing  influence  in  human  thought.  By  virtue  of  its  intrinsic  nature  it  should 
prevent  man  from  ever  establishing  unreasonable  codes  of  life.  Philosophers  themselves,  however, 
have  frustrated  the  ends  of  philosophy  by  exceeding  in  their  woolgathering  those  untrained  minds 
whom  they  are  supposed  to  lead  in  the  straight  and  narrow  path  of  rational  thinking.  To  list  and 
classify  any  but  the  more  important  of  the  now  recognized  schools  of  philosophy  is  beyond  the  space 
limitations  of  this  volume.  The  vast  area  of  speculation  covered  by  philosophy  will  be  appreciated  best 
after  a  brief  consideration  of  a  few  of  the  outstanding  systems  of  philosophic  discipline  which  have 
swayed  the  world  of  thought  during  the  last  twenty-six  centuries.  The  Greek  school  of  philosophy  had 
its  inception  with  the  seven  immortalized  thinkers  upon  whom  was  first  conferred  the  appellation  of 
Sophos,  "the  wise."  According  to  Diogenes  Laertius,  these  were  Thales,  Solon,  Chilon,  Pittacus,  Bias, 
Cleobulus,  and  Periander.  Water  was  conceived  by  Thales  to  be  the  primal  principle  or  element,  upon 
which  the  earth  floated  like  a  ship,  and  earthquakes  were  the  result  of  disturbances  in  this  universal 
sea.  Since  Thales  was  an  Ionian,  the  school  perpetuating  his  tenets  became  known  as  the  Ionic.  He 
died  in  546  B.C.,  and  was  succeeded  by  Anaximander,  who  in  turn  was  followed  by  Anaximenes, 
Anaxagoras,  and  Archelaus,  with  whom  the  Ionic  school  ended.  Anaximander,  differing  from  his 
master  Thales,  declared  measureless  and  indefinable  infinity  to  be  the  principle  from  which  all  things 
were  generated.  Anaximenes  asserted  air  to  be  the  first  element  of  the  universe;  that  souls  and  even 
the  Deity  itself  were  composed  of  it. 

Anaxagoras  (whose  doctrine  savors  of  atomism)  held  God  to  be  an  infinite  self -moving  mind;  that  this 
divine  infinite  Mind,  not 


From  Babbitt's  Principles  of  Light  and  Color. 

Since  the  postulation  of  the  atomic  theory  by  Democritus,  many  efforts  have  been  made  to  determine  the  structure  of 
atoms  and  the  method  by  which  they  unite  to  form  various  elements,  Even  science  has  not  refrained  from  entering  this 
field  of  speculation  and  presents  for  consideration  most  detailed  and  elaborate  representations  of  these  minute  bodies.  By 
far  the  most  remarkable  conception  of  the  atom  evolved  during  the  last  century  is  that  produced  by  the  genius  of  Dr. 
Edwin  D.  Babbitt  and  which  is  reproduced  herewith.  The  diagram  is  self-explanatory.  It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  this 
apparently  massive  structure  is  actually  s  minute  as  to  defy  analysis.  Not  only  did  Dr.  Babbitt  create  this  form  of  the  atom 
but  he  also  contrived  a  method  whereby  these  particles  could  be  grouped  together  in  an  orderly  manner  and  thus  result  in 
the  formation  of  molecular  bodies. 

p.  14 

inclosed  in  any  body,  is  the  efficient  cause  of  all  things;  out  of  the  infinite  matter  consisting  of  similar 
parts,  everything  being  made  according  to  its  species  by  the  divine  mind,  who  when  all  things  were  at 
first  confusedly  mingled  together,  came  and  reduced  them  to  order."  Archelaus  declared  the  principle 
of  all  things  to  be  twofold:  mind  (which  was  incorporeal)  and  air  (which  was  corporeal),  the 
rarefaction  and  condensation  of  the  latter  resulting  in  fire  and  water  respectively.  The  stars  were 
conceived  by  Archelaus  to  be  burning  iron  places.  Heraclitus  (who  lived  536-470  B.C.  and  is 
sometimes  included  in  the  Ionic  school)  in  his  doctrine  of  change  and  eternal  flux  asserted  fire  to  be 

the  first  element  and  also  the  state  into  which  the  world  would  ultimately  be  reabsorbed.  The  soul  of 
the  world  he  regarded  as  an  exhalation  from  its  humid  parts,  and  he  declared  the  ebb  and  flow  of  the 
sea  to  be  caused  by  the  sun. 

After  Pjithagoras  of  Samos,  its  founder,  the  Italic  or  Pythagorean  school  numbers  among  its  most 
distinguished  representatives  Empedocles,  Epicharmus,  Archytas,  Alcmseon,  Hippasus,  Philolaus, 
and  Eudoxus.  Pythagoras  (580-500?  B.C.)  conceived  mathematics  to  be  the  most  sacred  and  exact  of 
all  the  sciences,  and  demanded  of  all  who  came  to  him  for  study  a  familiarity  with  arithmetic,  music, 
astronomy,  and  geometry.  He  laid  special  emphasis  upon  the  philosophic  life  as  a  prerequisite  to 
wisdom.  Pythagoras  was  one  of  the  first  teachers  to  establish  a  community  wherein  all  the  members 
were  of  mutual  assistance  to  one  another  in  the  common  attainment  of  the  higher  sciences.  He  also 
introduced  the  discipline  of  retrospection  as  essential  to  the  development  of  the  spiritual  mind. 
Pjithagoreanism  may  be  summarized  as  a  system  of  metaphysical  speculation  concerning  the 
relationships  between  numbers  and  the  causal  agencies  of  existence.  This  school  also  first  expounded 
the  theory  of  celestial  harmonics  or  "the  music  of  the  spheres."  John  Reuchlin  said  of  Pythagoras  that 
he  taught  nothing  to  his  disciples  before  the  discipline  of  silence,  silence  being  the  first  rudiment  of 
contemplation.  In  his  Sophist,  Aristotle  credits  Empedocles  with  the  discovery  of  rhetoric.  Both 
Pythagoras  and  Empedocles  accepted  the  theory  of  transmigration,  the  latter  saying:  "A  boy  I  was, 
then  did  a  maid  become;  a  plant,  bird,  fish,  and  in  the  vast  sea  swum."  Archytas  is  credited  with 
invention  of  the  screw  and  the  crane.  Pleasure  he  declared  to  be  a  pestilence  because  it  was  opposed 
to  the  temperance  of  the  mind;  he  considered  a  man  without  deceit  to  be  as  rare  as  a  fish  without 

The  Eleatic  sect  was  founded  by  Xenophanes  (570-480  B.C.),  who  was  conspicuous  for  his  attacks 
upon  the  cosmologic  and  theogonic  fables  of  Homer  and  Hesiod.  Xenophanes  declared  that  God  was 
"one  and  incorporeal,  in  substance  and  figure  round,  in  no  way  resembling  man;  that  He  is  all  sight 
and  all  hearing,  but  breathes  not;  that  He  is  all  things,  the  mind  and  wisdom,  not  generate  but  eternal, 
impassible,  immutable,  and  rational."  Xenophanes  believed  that  all  existing  things  were  eternal,  that 
the  world  was  without  beginning  or  end,  and  that  everything  which  was  generated  was  subject  to 
corruption.  He  lived  to  great  age  and  is  said  to  have  buried  his  sons  with  his  own  hands.  Parmenides 
studied  under  Xenophanes,  but  never  entirely  subscribed  to  his  doctrines.  Parmenides  declared  the 
senses  to  be  uncertain  and  reason  the  only  criterion  of  truth.  He  first  asserted  the  earth  to  be  round 
and  also  divided  its  surface  into  zones  of  hear  and  cold. 

Melissus,  who  is  included  in  the  Eleatic  school,  held  many  opinions  in  common  with  Parmenides.  He 
declared  the  universe  to  be  immovable  because,  occupying  all  space,  there  was  no  place  to  which  it 
could  be  moved.  He  further  rejected  the  theory  of  a  vacuum  in  space.  Zeno  of  Elea  also  maintained 
that  a  vacuum  could  not  exist.  Rejecting  the  theory  of  motion,  he  asserted  that  there  was  but  one  God, 
who  was  an  eternal,  ungenerated  Being.  Like  Xenophanes,  he  conceived  Deity  to  be  spherical  in  shape. 
Leucippus  held  the  Universe  to  consist  of  two  parts:  one  full  and  the  other  a  vacuum.  From  the 
Infinite  a  host  of  minute  fragmentary  bodies  descended  into  the  vacuum,  where,  through  continual 
agitation,  they  organized  themselves  into  spheres  of  substance. 

The  great  Democritus  to  a  certain  degree  enlarged  upon  the  atomic  theory  of  Leucippus.  Democritus 
declared  the  principles  of  all  things  to  be  twofold:  atoms  and  vacuum.  Both,  he  asserted,  are  infinite- 
atoms  in  number,  vacuum  in  magnitude.  Thus  all  bodies  must  be  composed  of  atoms  or  vacuum. 
Atoms  possessed  two  properties,  form  and  size,  both  characterized  by  infinite  variety.  The  soul 
Democritus  also  conceived  to  be  atomic  in  structure  and  subject  to  dissolution  with  the  body.  The 
mind  he  believed  to  be  composed  of  spiritual  atoms.  Aristotle  intimates  that  Democritus  obtained  his 
atomic  theory  from  the  Pythagorean  doctrine  of  the  Monad.  Among  the  Eleatics  are  also  included 
Protagoras  and  Anaxarchus. 

Socrates  (469-399  B.C.),  the  founder  of  the  Socratic  sect,  being  fundamentally  a  Skeptic,  did  not  force 
his  opinions  upon  others,  but  through  the  medium  of  questionings  caused  each  man  to  give 
expression  to  his  own  philosophy.  According  to  Plutarch,  Socrates  conceived  every  place  as 
appropriate  for  reaching  in  that  the  whole  world  was  a  school  of  virtue.  He  held  that  the  soul  existed 
before  the  body  and,  prior  to  immersion  therein,  was  endowed  with  all  knowledge;  that  when  the  soul 
entered  into  the  material  form  it  became  stupefied,  but  that  by  discourses  upon  sensible  objects  it  was 
caused  to  reawaken  and  to  recover  its  original  knowledge.  On  these  premises  was  based  his  attempt 
to  stimulate  the  soul-power  through  irony  and  inductive  reasoning.  It  has  been  said  of  Socrates  that 
the  sole  subject  of  his  philosophy  was  man.  He  himself  declared  philosophy  to  be  the  way  of  true 
happiness  and  its  purpose  twofold:  (1)  to  contemplate  God,  and  (2)  to  abstract  the  soul  from 
corporeal  sense. 

The  principles  of  all  things  he  conceived  to  be  three  in  number:  God,  matter,  and  ideas.  Of  God  he 
said:  "What  He  is  I  know  not;  what  He  is  not  I  know."  Matter  he  defined  as  the  subject  of  generation 
and  corruption;  idea,  as  an  incorruptible  substance—the  intellect  of  God.  Wisdom  he  considered  the 
sum  of  the  virtues.  Among  the  prominent  members  of  the  Socratic  sect  were  Xenophon,  ^Eschines, 
Crito,  Simon,  Glauco,  Simmias,  and  Cebes.  Professor  Zeller,  the  great  authority  on  ancient 
philosophies,  has  recently  declared  the  writings  of  Xenophon  relating  to  Socrates  to  be  forgeries. 
When  The  Clouds  of  Aristophanes,  a  comedy  written  to  ridicule  the  theories  of  Socrates,  was  first 
presented,  the  great  Skeptic  himself  attended  the  play.  During  the  performance,  which  caricatured 
him  seated  in  a  basket  high  in  the  air  studying  the  sun,  Socrates  rose  calmly  in  his  seat,  the  better  to 
enable  the  Athenian  spectators  to  compare  his  own  unprepossessing  features  with  the  grotesque 
mask  worn  by  the  actor  impersonating  him. 

The  Elean  sect  was  founded  by  Phaedo  of  Elis,  a  youth  of  noble  family,  who  was  bought  from  slavery 
at  the  instigation  of  Socrates  and  who  became  his  devoted  disciple.  Plato  so  highly  admired  Phaedo's 
mentality  that  he  named  one  of  the  most  famous  of  his  discourses  The  Phaedo.  Phaedo  was  succeeded 
in  his  school  by  Plisthenes,  who  in  turn  was  followed  by  Menedemus.  Of  the  doctrines  of  the  Elean 
sect  little  is  known.  Menedemus  is  presumed  to  have  been  inclined  toward  the  teachings  of  Stilpo  and 
the  Megarian  sect.  When  Menedemus'  opinions  were  demanded,  he  answered  that  he  was  free,  thus 
intimating  that  most  men  were  enslaved  to  their  opinions.  Menedemus  was  apparently  of  a  somewhat 
belligerent  temperament  and  often  returned  from  his  lectures  in  a  badly  bruised  condition.  The  most 
famous  of  his  propositions  is  stated  thus:  That  which  is  not  the  same  is  different  from  that  with  which 
it  is  not  the  same.  This  point  being  admitted,  Menedemus  continued:  To  benefit  is  not  the  same  as 
good,  therefore  good  does  not  benefit.  After  the  time  of  Menedemus  the  Elean  sect  became  known  as 
the  Eretrian.  Its  exponents  denounced  all  negative  propositions  and  all  complex  and  abstruse  theories, 
declaring  that  only  affirmative  and  simple  doctrines  could  be  true. 

The  Megarian  sect  was  founded  by  Euclid  of  Megara  (not  the  celebrated  mathematician),  a  great 
admirer  of  Socrates.  The  Athenians  passed  a  law  decreeing  death  to  any  citizen  of  Megara  found  in 
the  city  of  Athens.  Nothing  daunted,  Euclid  donned  woman's  clothing  and  went  at  night  to  study  with 
Socrates.  After  the  cruel  death  of  their  teacher,  the  disciples  of  Socrates,  fearing  a  similar  fate,  fled  to 
Megara,  where  they  were  entertained  with  great  honor  by  Euclid.  The  Megarian  school  accepted  the 
Socratic  doctrine  that  virtue  is  wisdom,  adding  to  it  the  Eleatic  concept  that  goodness  is  absolute 
unity  and  all  change  an  illusion  of  the  senses.  Euclid  maintained  that  good  has  no  opposite  and 
therefore  evil  does  not  exist.  Being  asked  about  the  nature  of  the  gods,  he  declared  himself  ignorant  of 
their  disposition  save  that  they  hated  curious  persons. 

The  Megarians  are  occasionally  included  among  the  dialectic  philosophers.  Euclid  (who  died  374? 
B.C.)  was  succeeded  in  his  school  by  Eubulides,  among  whose  disciples  were  Alexinus  and  Apollonius 
Cronus.  Euphantus,  who  lived  to  great  age  and  wrote  many  tragedies,  was  among  the  foremost 
followers  of  Eubulides.  Diodorus  is  usually  included  in  the  Megarian  school,  having  heard  Eubulides 

lecture.  According  to  legend,  Diodorus  died  of  grief  because  he  could  not  answer  instantly  certain 
questions  asked  him  by  Stilpo,  at  one  time  master  of  the  Megarian  school.  Diodorus  held  that  nothing 


From  Thomasin's  Recuil  des  Figures,  Groupes,  Thermes,  Fontaines,  Vases  et  autres  Ornaments. 

Plato's  real  name  was  Aristocles.  When  his  father  brought  him  to  study  with  Socrates,  the  great  Skeptic  declared  that  on 
the  previous  night  he  had  dreamed  of  a  white  swan,  which  was  an  omen  that  his  new  disciple  was  to  become  one  of  the 
world's  illumined.  There  is  a  tradition  that  the  immortal  Plato  was  sold  as  a  slave  by  the  King  of  Sicily. 


can  be  moved,  since  to  be  moved  it  must  be  taken  out  of  the  place  in  which  it  is  and  put  into  the  place 
where  it  is  not,  which  is  impossible  because  all  things  must  always  be  in  the  places  where  they  are. 

The  Cynics  were  a  sect  founded  by  Antisthenes  of  Athens  (444-365?  B.C.),  a  disciple  of  Socrates. 
Their  doctrine  may  be  described  as  an  extreme  individualism  which  considers  man  as  existing  for 
himself  alone  and  advocates  surrounding  him  by  inharmony,  suffering,  and  direst  need  that  be  may 
thereby  be  driven  to  retire  more  completely  into  his  own  nature.  The  Cynics  renounced  all  worldly 
possessions,  living  in  the  rudest  shelters  and  subsisting  upon  the  coarsest  and  simplest  food.  On  the 
assumption  that  the  gods  wanted  nothing,  the  Cynics  affirmed  that  those  whose  needs  were  fewest 
consequently  approached  closest  to  the  divinities.  Being  asked  what  he  gained  by  a  life  of  philosophy, 
Antisthenes  replied  that  he  had  learned  how  to  converse  with  himself. 

Diogenes  of  Sinopis  is  remembered  chiefly  for  the  tub  in  the  Metroum  which  for  many  years  served 
him  as  a  home.  The  people  of  Athens  loved  the  beggar-philosopher,  and  when  a  youth  in  jest  bored 
holes  in  the  tub,  the  city  presented  Diogenes  with  a  new  one  and  punished  the  youth.  Diogenes 
believed  that  nothing  in  life  can  be  rightly  accomplished  without  exercitation.  He  maintained  that 
everything  in  the  world  belongs  to  the  wise,  a  declaration  which  he  proved  by  the  following  logic:  "All 
things  belong  to  the  gods;  the  gods  are  friends  to  wise  persons;  all  things  are  common  amongst 

friends;  therefore  all  things  belong  to  the  wise."  Among  the  Cynics  are  Monimus,  Onesicritus,  Crates, 
Metrocles,  Hipparchia  (who  married  Crates),  Menippus,  and  Menedemus. 

The  Cyrenaic  sect,  founded  by  Aristippus  of  Cyrene  (435-356?  B.C.),  promulgated  the  doctrine  of 
hedonism.  Learning  of  the  fame  of  Socrates,  Aristippus  journeyed  to  Athens  and  applied  himself  to 
the  teachings  of  the  great  Skeptic.  Socrates,  pained  by  the  voluptuous  and  mercenary  tendencies  of 
Aristippus,  vainly  labored  to  reform  the  young  man.  Aristippus  has  the  distinction  of  being  consistent 
in  principle  and  practice,  for  he  lived  in  perfect  harmony  with  his  philosophy  that  the  quest  of 
pleasure  was  the  chief  purpose  of  life.  The  doctrines  of  the  Cyrenaics  maybe  summarized  thus:  All 
that  is  actually  known  concerning  any  object  or  condition  is  the  feeling  which  it  awakens  in  man's 
own  nature.  In  the  sphere  of  ethics  that  which  awakens  the  most  pleasant  feeling  is  consequently  to 
be  esteemed  as  the  greatest  good.  Emotional  reactions  are  classified  as  pleasant  or  gentle,  harsh,  and 
mean.  The  end  of  pleasant  emotion  is  pleasure;  the  end  of  harsh  emotion,  grief;  the  end  of  mean 
emotion,  nothing. 

Through  mental  perversity  some  men  do  not  desire  pleasure.  In  reality,  however,  pleasure  (especially 
of  a  physical  nature)  is  the  true  end  of  existence  and  exceeds  in  every  way  mental  and  spiritual 
enjoyments.  Pleasure,  furthermore,  is  limited  wholly  to  the  moment;  now  is  the  only  time.  The  past 
cannot  be  regarded  without  regret  and  the  future  cannot  be  faced  without  misgiving;  therefore 
neither  is  conducive  to  pleasure.  No  man  should  grieve,  for  grief  is  the  most  serious  of  all  diseases. 
Nature  permits  man  to  do  anything  he  desires;  he  is  limited  only  by  his  own  laws  and  customs.  A 
philosopher  is  one  free  from  envy,  love,  and  superstition,  and  whose  days  are  one  long  round  of 
pleasure.  Indulgence  was  thus  elevated  by  Aristippus  to  the  chief  position  among  the  virtues.  He 
further  declared  philosophers  to  differ  markedly  from  other  men  in  that  they  alone  would  not  change 
the  order  of  their  lives  if  all  the  laws  of  men  were  abolished.  Among  prominent  philosophers 
influenced  by  the  Cyrenaic  doctrines  were  Hegesias,  Anniceris,  Theodoras,  and  Bion. 

The  sect  of  the  Academic  philosophers  instituted  by  Plato  (427-347  B.C.)  was  divided  into  three  major 
parts—the  old,  the  middle,  and  the  new  Academy.  Among  the  old  Academics  were  Speusippus, 
Zenocrates,  Poleman,  Crates,  and  Crantor.  Arcesilaus  instituted  the  middle  Academy  and  Carneades 
founded  the  new.  Chief  among  the  masters  of  Plato  was  Socrates.  Plato  traveled  widely  and  was 
initiated  by  the  Egyptians  into  the  profundities  of  Hermetic  philosophy.  He  also  derived  much  from 
the  doctrines  of  the  Pj^hagoreans.  Cicero  describes  the  threefold  constitution  of  Platonic  philosophy 
as  comprising  ethics,  physics,  and  dialectics.  Plato  defined  good  as  threefold  in  character:  good  in  the 
soul,  expressed  through  the  virtues;  good  in  the  body,  expressed  through  the  symmetry  and 
endurance  of  the  parts;  and  good  in  the  external  world,  expressed  through  social  position  and 
companionship.  In  The  Book  of  Speusippus  on  Platonic  Definitions,  that  great  Platonist  thus  defines 
God:  "A  being  that  lives  immortally  by  means  of  Himself  alone,  sufficing  for  His  own  blessedness,  the 
eternal  Essence,  cause  of  His  own  goodness.  According  to  Plato,  the  One  is  the  term  most  suitable  for 
defining  the  Absolute,  since  the  whole  precedes  the  parts  and  diversity  is  dependent  on  unity,  but 
unity  not  on  diversity.  The  One,  moreover,  is  before  being,  for  to  be  is  an  attribute  or  condition  of  the 

Platonic  philosophy  is  based  upon  the  postulation  of  three  orders  of  being:  that  which  moves 
unmoved,  that  which  is  self -moved,  and  that  which  is  moved.  That  which  is  immovable  but  moves  is 
anterior  to  that  which  is  self-moved,  which  likewise  is  anterior  to  that  which  it  moves.  That  in  which 
motion  is  inherent  cannot  be  separated  from  its  motive  power;  it  is  therefore  incapable  of  dissolution. 
Of  such  nature  are  the  immortals.  That  which  has  motion  imparted  to  it  from  another  can  be 
separated  from  the  source  of  its  an  animating  principle;  it  is  therefore  subject  to  dissolution.  Of  such 
nature  are  mortal  beings.  Superior  to  both  the  mortals  and  the  immortals  is  that  condition  which 
continually  moves  yet  itself  is  unmoved.  To  this  constitution  the  power  of  abidance  is  inherent;  it  is 
therefore  the  Divine  Permanence  upon  which  all  things  are  established.  Being  nobler  even  than  self- 
motion,  the  unmoved  Mover  is  the  first  of  all  dignities.  The  Platonic  discipline  was  founded  upon  the 

theory  that  learning  is  really  reminiscence,  or  the  bringing  into  objectivity  of  knowledge  formerly 
acquired  by  the  soul  in  a  previous  state  of  existence.  At  the  entrance  of  the  Platonic  school  in  the 
Academy  were  written  the  words:  "Let  none  ignorant  of  geometry  enter  here." 

After  the  death  of  Plato,  his  disciples  separated  into  two  groups.  One,  the  Academics,  continued  to 
meet  in  the  Academy  where  once  he  had  presided;  the  other,  the  Peripatetics,  removed  to  the  Lyceum 
under  the  leadership  of  Aristotle  (384-322  B.C.).  Plato  recognized  Aristotle  as  his  greatest  disciple 
and,  according  to  Philoponus,  referred  to  him  as  "the  mind  of  the  school."  If  Aristotle  were  absent 
from  the  lectures,  Plato  would  say:  "The  intellect  is  not  here."  Of  the  prodigious  genius  of  Aristotle, 
Thomas  Taylor  writes  in  his  introduction  to  The  Metaphysics: 

"When  we  consider  that  he  was  not  only  well  acquainted  with  every  science,  as  his  works  abundantly 
evince,  but  that  he  wrote  on  almost  every  subject  which  is  comprehended  in  the  circle  of  human 
knowledge,  and  this  with  matchless  accuracy  and  skill,  we  know  not  which  to  admire  most,  the 
penetration  or  extent  of  his  mind." 


From  Kircher's  Ars  Magna  Sciendi. 

In  the  above  diagram  Kircher  arranges  eighteen  objects  in  two  vertical  columns  and  then  determines  he  number  of 
arrangements  in  which  they  can  be  combined.  By  the  same  method  Kircher  further  estimates  that  fifty  objects  may  be 
arranged  in  1,273,726,838,815,420,339,851,343,083,767,005,515,293,749,454,795,408,000,000,000,000  combinations. 
From  this  it  will  be  evident  that  infinite  diversity  is  possible,  for  the  countless  parts  of  the  universe  may  be  related  to  each 
other  in  an  incalculable  number  of  ways;  and  through  the  various  combinations  of  these  limitless  subdivisions  of  being. 

infinite  individuality  and  infinite  variety  must  inevitably  result.  Thus  it  is  fiirther  evident  that  life  can  never  become 
monotonous  or  exhaust  the  possibilities  of  variety. 

p.  16 

Of  the  philosophy  of  Aristotle,  the  same  author  says:  "The  end  of  Aristotle's  moral  philosophy  is 
perfection  through  the  virtues,  and  the  end  of  his  contemplative  philosophy  an  union  with  the  one 
principle  of  all  things." 

Aristotle  conceived  philosophy  to  be  twofold:  practical  and  theoretical.  Practical  philosophy 
embraced  ethics  and  politics;  theoretical  philosophy,  physics  and  logic.  Metaphysics  he  considered  to 
be  the  science  concerning  that  substance  which  has  the  principle  of  motion  and  rest  inherent  to  itself. 
To  Aristotle  the  soul  is  that  by  which  man  first  lives,  feels,  and  understands.  Hence  to  the  soul  he 
assigned  three  faculties:  nutritive,  sensitive,  and  intellective.  He  further  considered  the  soul  to  be 
twofold—rational  and  irrational—and  in  some  particulars  elevated  the  sense  perceptions  above  the 
mind.  Aristotle  defined  wisdom  as  the  science  of  first  Causes.  The  four  major  divisions  of  his 
philosophy  are  dialectics,  physics,  ethics,  and  metaphysics.  God  is  defined  as  the  First  Mover,  the  Best 
of  beings,  an  immovable  Substance,  separate  from  sensible  things,  void  of  corporeal  quantity,  without 
parts  and  indivisible.  Platonism  is  based  upon  a  priori  reasoning;  Aristotelianism  upon  a  posteriori 
reasoning.  Aristotle  taught  his  pupil,  Alexander  the  Great,  to  feel  that  if  he  had  not  done  a  good  deed 
he  had  not  reigned  that  day.  Among  his  followers  were  Theophrastus,  Strato,  Lyco,  Aristo,  Critolaus, 
and  Diodorus. 

Of  Skepticism  as  propounded  by  Pyrrho  of  Elis  (365-275  B.C.)  and  by  Timon,  Sextus  Empiricus  said 
that  those  who  seek  must  find  or  deny  they  have  found  or  can  find,  or  persevere  in  the  inquiry.  Those 
who  suppose  they  have  found  truth  are  called  Dogmatists;  those  who  think  it  incomprehensible  are 
the  Academics;  those  who  still  seek  are  the  Skeptics.  The  attitude  of  Skepticism  towards  the  knowable 
is  summed  up  by  Sextus  Empiricus  in  the  following  words:  "But  the  chief  ground  of  Skepticism  is  that 
to  every  reason  there  is  an  opposite  reason  equivalent,  which  makes  us  forbear  to  dogmatize."  The 
Skeptics  were  strongly  opposed  to  the  Dogmatists  and  were  agnostic  in  that  they  held  the  accepted 
theories  regarding  Deity  to  be  self-contradictory  and  undemonstrable.  "How,"  asked  the  Skeptic,  "can 
we  have  indubitate  knowledge  of  God,  knowing  not  His  substance,  form  or  place;  for,  while 
philosophers  disagree  irreconcilably  on  these  points,  their  conclusions  cannot  be  considered  as 
undoubtedly  true?"  Since  absolute  knowledge  was  considered  unattainable,  the  Skeptics  declared  the 
end  of  their  discipline  to  be:  "In  opinionatives,  indisturbance;  in  impulsives,  moderation;  and  in 
disquietives,  suspension." 

The  sect  of  the  Stoics  was  founded  by  Zeno  (340-265  B.C.),  the  Cittiean,  who  studied  under  Crates  the 
Cynic,  from  which  sect  the  Stoics  had  their  origin.  Zeno  was  succeeded  by  Cleanthes,  Chrysippus, 
Zeno  of  Tarsis,  Diogenes,  Antipater,  Panaetius,  and  Posidonius.  Most  famous  of  the  Roman  Stoics  are 
Epictetus  and  Marcus  Aurelius.  The  Stoics  were  essentially  pantheists,  since  they  maintained  that  as 
there  is  nothing  better  than  the  world,  the  world  is  God.  Zeno  declared  that  the  reason  of  the  world  is 
diffused  throughout  it  as  seed.  Stoicism  is  a  materialistic  philosophy,  enjoining  voluntary  resignation 
to  natural  law.  Chrysippus  maintained  that  good  and  evil  being  contrary,  both  are  necessary  since 
each  sustains  the  other.  The  soul  was  regarded  as  a  body  distributed  throughout  the  physical  form 
and  subject  to  dissolution  with  it.  Though  some  of  the  Stoics  held  that  wisdom  prolonged  the 
existence  of  the  soul,  actual  immortality  is  not  included  in  their  tenets.  The  soul  was  said  to  be 
composed  of  eight  parts:  the  five  senses,  the  generative  power,  the  vocal  power,  and  an  eighth,  or 
hegemonic,  part.  Nature  was  defined  as  God  mixed  throughout  the  substance  of  the  world.  All  things 
were  looked  upon  as  bodies  either  corporeal  or  incorporeal. 

Meekness  marked  the  attitude  of  the  Stoic  philosopher.  While  Diogenes  was  delivering  a  discourse 
against  anger,  one  of  his  listeners  spat  contemptuously  in  his  face.  Receiving  the  insult  with  humility. 

the  great  Stoic  was  moved  to  retort:  "I  am  not  angry,  but  am  in  doubt  whether  I  ought  to  be  so  or 

Epicurus  of  Samos  (341-270  B.C.)  was  the  founder  of  the  Epicurean  sect,  which  in  many  respects 
resembles  the  Cyrenaic  but  is  higher  in  its  ethical  standards.  The  Epicureans  also  posited  pleasure  as 
the  most  desirable  state,  but  conceived  it  to  be  a  grave  and  dignified  state  achieved  through 
renunciation  of  those  mental  and  emotional  inconstancies  which  are  productive  of  pain  and  sorrow. 
Epicurus  held  that  as  the  pains  of  the  mind  and  soul  are  more  grievous  than  those  of  the  body,  so  the 
joys  of  the  mind  and  soul  exceed  those  of  the  body.  The  Cyrenaics  asserted  pleasure  to  be  dependent 
upon  action  or  motion;  the  Epicureans  claimed  rest  or  lack  of  action  to  be  equally  productive  of 
pleasure.  Epicurus  accepted  the  philosophy  of  Democritus  concerning  the  nature  of  atoms  and  based 
his  physics  upon  this  theory.  The  Epicurean  philosophy  may  be  summed  up  in  four  canons: 

"(1)  Sense  is  never  deceived;  and  therefore  every  sensation  and  every  perception  of  an  appearance  is 
true.  (2)  Opinion  follows  upon  sense  and  is  superadded  to  sensation,  and  capable  of  truth  or 
falsehood,  (3)  All  opinion  attested,  or  not  contradicted  by  the  evidence  of  sense,  is  true.  (4)  An 
opinion  contradicted,  or  not  attested  by  the  evidence  of  sense,  is  false."  Among  the  Epicureans  of  note 
were  Metrodorus  of  Lampsacus,  Zeno  of  Sidon,  and  Phaedrus. 

Eclecticism  may  be  defined  as  the  practice  of  choosing  apparently  irreconcilable  doctrines  from 
antagonistic  schools  and  constructing  therefrom  a  composite  philosophic  system  in  harmony  with  the 
convictions  of  the  eclectic  himself.  Eclecticism  can  scarcely  be  considered  philosophically  or  logically 
sound,  for  as  individual  schools  arrive  at  their  conclusions  by  different  methods  of  reasoning,  so  the 
philosophic  product  of  fragments  from  these  schools  must  necessarily  be  built  upon  the  foundation  of 
conflicting  premises.  Eclecticism,  accordingly,  has  been  designated  the  layman's  cult.  In  the  Roman 
Empire  little  thought  was  devoted  to  philosophic  theory;  consequently  most  of  its  thinkers  were  of  the 
eclectic  type.  Cicero  is  the  outstanding  example  of  early  Eclecticism,  for  his  writings  are  a  veritable 
potpourri  of  invaluable  fragments  from  earlier  schools  of  thought.  Eclecticism  appears  to  have  had  its 
inception  at  the  moment  when  men  first  doubted  the  possibility  of  discovering  ultimate  truth. 
Observing  all  so-called  knowledge  to  be  mere  opinion  at  best,  the  less  studious  furthermore 
concluded  that  the  wiser  course  to  pursue  was  to  accept  that  which  appeared  to  be  the  most 
reasonable  of  the  teachings  of  any  school  or  individual.  From  this  practice,  however,  arose  a  pseudo- 
broadmindedness  devoid  of  the  element  of  preciseness  found  in  true  logic  and  philosophy. 

The  Neo-Pythagorean  school  flourished  in  Alexandria  during  the  first  century  of  the  Christian  Era. 
Only  two  names  stand  out  in  connection  with  it~Apollonius  of  Tyana  and  Moderatus  of  Gades.  Neo- 
Pythagoreanism  is  a  link  between  the  older  pagan  philosophies  and  Neo-Platonism.  Like  the  former, 
it  contained  many  exact  elements  of  thought  derived  from  Pythagoras  and  Plato;  like  the  latter,  it 
emphasized  metaphysical  speculation  and  ascetic  habits.  A  striking  similarity  has  been  observed  by 
several  authors  between  Neo-Pythagoreanism  and  the  doctrines  of  the  Essenes.  Special  emphasis  was 
laid  upon  the  mystery  of  numbers,  and  it  is  possible  that  the  Neo-Pythagoreans  had  a  far  wider 
knowledge  of  the  true  teachings  of  Pythagoras  than  is  available  today.  Even  in  the  first  century 
Pythagoras  was  regarded  more  as  a  god  than  a  man,  and  the  revival  of  his  philosophy  was  resorted  to 
apparently  in  the  hope  that  his  name  would  stimulate  interest  in  the  deeper  systems  of  learning.  But 
Greek  philosophy  had  passed  the  zenith  of  its  splendor;  the  mass  of  humanity  was  awakening  to  the 
importance  of  physical  life  and  physical  phenomena.  The  emphasis  upon  earthly  affairs  which  began 
to  assert  itself  later  reached  maturity  of  expression  in  twentieth  century  materialism  and 


From  Virgil's  ^neid.  (Dryden's  translation.) 

Virgil  describes  part  of  the  ritual  of  a  Greek  Mystery—possibly  the  Eleusinian~in  his  account  of  the  descent  of  ^neas,  to 
the  gate  of  hell  under  the  guidance  of  the  Sibyl.  Of  that  part  of  the  ritual  portrayed  above  the  immortal  poet  writes: 

"Full  in  the  midst  of  this  infernal  Road, 
An  Elm  displays  her  dusky  Arms  abroad; 
The  God  of  Sleep  there  hides  his  heavy  Head 
And  empty  Dreams  on  ev'ry  Leaf  are  spread. 
Of  various  Forms,  unnumber'd  Specters  more; 
Centaurs,  and  double  Shapes,  besiege  the  Door: 
Before  the  Passage  horrid  Hydra  stands. 
And  Briareus  with  all  his  hundred  Hands: 
Gorgons,  Geryon  with  his  triple  Frame; 
And  vain  Chimsera  vomits  empty  Flame. 
The  Chief  unsheath'd  his  shining  Steel,  prepar'd, 
Tho  seiz'd  with  sudden  Fear,  to  force  the  Guard. 
Off  ring  his  brandish'd  Weapon  at  their  Face, 
Had  not  the  Sibyl  stop'd  his  eager  Pace, 
And  told  him  what  those  empty  Phantoms  were; 
Forms  without  Bodies,  and  impassive  Air." 

p.  17 

even  though  Neo-Platonism  was  to  intervene  and  many  centuries  pass  before  this  emphasis  took 
definite  form. 

Although  Ammonius  Saccus  was  long  believed  to  be  the  founder  of  Neo-Platonism,  the  school  had  its 
true  beginning  in  Plotinus  (A.D.  204-269?).  Prominent  among  the  Neo-Platonists  of  Alexandria,  Syria, 
Rome,  and  Athens  were  Porphyry,  lamblichus,  Sallustius,  the  Emperor  Julian,  Plutarch,  and  Proclus. 
Neo-Platonism  was  the  supreme  effort  of  decadent  pagandom  to  publish  and  thus  preserve  for 
posterity  its  secret  (or  unwritten)  doctrine.  In  its  teachings  ancient  idealism  found  its  most  perfect 
expression.  Neo-Platonism  was  concerned  almost  exclusively  with  the  problems  of  higher 

metaphysics.  It  recognized  the  existence  of  a  secret  and  all-important  doctrine  which  from  the  time  of 
the  earliest  civilizations  had  been  concealed  within  the  rituals,  symbols,  and  allegories  of  religions 
and  philosophies.  To  the  mind  unacquainted  with  its  fundamental  tenets,  Neo-Platonism  may  appear 
to  be  a  mass  of  speculations  interspersed  with  extravagant  flights  of  fancy.  Such  a  viewpoint,  however, 
ignores  the  institutions  of  the  Mysteries—those  secret  schools  into  whose  profundities  of  idealism 
nearly  all  of  the  first  philosophers  of  antiquity  were  initiated. 

When  the  physical  body  of  pagan  thought  collapsed,  an  attempt  was  made  to  resurrect  the  form  by 
instilling  new  life  into  it  by  the  unveiling  of  its  mystical  truths.  This  effort  apparently  was  barren  of 
results.  Despite  the  antagonism,  however,  between  pristine  Christianity  and  Neo-Platonism  many 
basic  tenets  of  the  latter  were  accepted  by  the  former  and  woven  into  the  fabric  of  Patristic  philosophy. 
Briefly  described,  Neo-Platonism  is  a  philosophic  code  which  conceives  every  physical  or  concrete 
body  of  doctrine  to  be  merely  the  shell  of  a  spiritual  verity  which  may  be  discovered  through 
meditation  and  certain  exercises  of  a  mystic  nature.  In  comparison  to  the  esoteric  spiritual  truths 
which  they  contain,  the  corporeal  bodies  of  religion  and  philosophy  were  considered  relatively  of  little 
value.  Likewise,  no  emphasis  was  placed  upon  the  material  sciences. 

The  term  Patristic  is  employed  to  designate  the  philosophy  of  the  Fathers  of  the  early  Christian 
Church.  Patristic  philosophy  is  divided  into  two  general  epochs:  ante-Nicene  and  post-Nicene.  The 
ante-Nicene  period  in  the  main  was  devoted  to  attacks  upon  paganism  and  to  apologies  and  defenses 
of  Christianity.  The  entire  structure  of  pagan  philosophy  was  assailed  and  the  dictates  of  faith 
elevated  above  those  of  reason.  In  some  instances  efforts  were  made  to  reconcile  the  evident  truths  of 
paganism  with  Christian  revelation.  Eminent  among  the  ante-Nicene  Fathers  were  St.  Irenseus, 
Clement  of  Alexandria,  and  Justin  Martyr.  In  the  post-Nicene  period  more  emphasis  was  placed  upon 
the  unfoldment  of  Christian  philosophy  along  Platonic  and  Neo-Platonic  lines,  resulting  in  the 
appearance  of  many  strange  documents  of  a  lengthy,  rambling,  and  ambiguous  nature,  nearly  all  of 
which  were  philosophically  unsound.  The  post-Nicene  philosophers  included  Athanasius,  Gregory  of 
Nyssa,  and  Cyril  of  Alexandria.  The  Patristic  school  is  notable  for  its  emphasis  upon  the  supremacy  of 
man  throughout  the  universe.  Man  was  conceived  to  be  a  separate  and  divine  creation—the  crowning 
achievement  of  Deity  and  an  exception  to  the  suzerainty  of  natural  law.  To  the  Patristics  it  was 
inconceivable  that  there  should  ever  exist  another  creature  so  noble,  so  fortunate,  or  so  able  as  man, 
for  whose  sole  benefit  and  edification  all  the  kingdoms  of  Nature  were  primarily  created. 

Patristic  philosophy  culminated  in  Augustinianism,  which  may  best  be  defined  as  Christian 
Platonism.  Opposing  the  Pelasgian  doctrine  that  man  is  the  author  of  his  own  salvation, 
Augustinianism  elevated  the  church  and  its  dogmas  to  a  position  of  absolute  infallibility— a  position 
which  it  successfully  maintained  until  the  Reformation.  Gnosticism,  a  system  of  emanationism, 
interpreting  Christianity  in  terms  of  Greek,  Egj^tian,  and  Persian  metaphysics,  appeared  in  the  latter 
part  of  the  first  century  of  the  Christian  Era.  Practically  all  the  information  extant  regarding  the 
Gnostics  and  their  doctrines,  stigmatized  as  heresy  by  the  ante-Nicene  Church  Fathers,  is  derived 
from  the  accusations  made  against  them,  particularly  from  the  writings  of  St.  Irengeus.  In  the  third 
century  appeared  Manichseism,  a  dualistic  system  of  Persian  origin,  which  taught  that  Good  and  Evil 
were  forever  contending  for  universal  supremacy.  In  Manichseism,  Christ  is  conceived  to  be  the 
Principle  of  redeeming  Good  in  contradistinction  to  the  man  Jesus,  who  was  viewed  as  an  evil 

The  death  of  Boethius  in  the  sixth  century  marked  the  close  of  the  ancient  Greek  school  of  philosophy. 
The  ninth  century  saw  the  rise  of  the  new  school  of  Scholasticism,  which  sought  to  reconcile 
philosophy  with  theology.  Representative  of  the  main  divisions  of  the  Scholastic  school  were  the 
Eclecticism  of  John  of  Salisbury,  the  Mysticism  of  Bernard  of  Clairvaux  and  St.  Bonaventura,  the 
Rationalism  of  Peter  Abelard,  and  the  pantheistic  Mysticism  of  Meister  Eckhart.  Among  the  Arabian 
Aristotelians  were  Avicenna  and  Averroes.  The  zenith  of  Scholasticism  was  reached  with  the  advent  of 
Albertus  Magnus  and  his  illustrious  disciple,  St.  Thomas  Aquinas.  Thomism  (the  philosophy  of  St. 

Thomas  Aquinas,  sometimes  referred  to  as  the  Christian  Aristotle)  sought  to  reconcile  the  various 
factions  of  the  Scholastic  school.  Thomism  was  basically  Aristotelian  with  the  added  concept  that 
faith  is  a  projection  of  reason. 

Scotism,  or  the  doctrine  of  Voluntarism  promulgated  by  Joannes  Duns  Scotus,  a  Franciscan 
Scholastic,  emphasized  the  power  and  efficacy  of  the  individual  will,  as  opposed  to  Thomism.  The 
outstanding  characteristic  of  Scholasticism  was  its  frantic  effort  to  cast  all  European  thought  in  an 
Aristotelian  mold.  Eventually  the  Schoolmen  descended  to  the  level  of  mere  wordmongers  who 
picked  the  words  of  Aristotle  so  clean  that  nothing  but  the  bones  remained.  It  was  this  decadent 
school  of  meaningless  verbiage  against  which  Sir  Francis  Bacon  directed  his  bitter  shafts  of  irony  and 
which  he  relegated  to  the  potter's  field  of  discarded  notions. 

The  Baconian,  or  inductive,  system  of  reasoning  (whereby  facts  are  arrived  at  by  a  process  of 
observation  and  verified  by  experimentation)  cleared  the  way  for  the  schools  of  modern  science. 
Bacon  was  followed  by  Thomas  Hobbes  (for  some  time  his  secretary),  who  held  mathematics  to  be  the 
only  exact  science  and  thought  to  be  essentially  a  mathematical  process.  Hobbes  declared  matter  to 
be  the  only  reality,  and  scientific  investigation  to  be  limited  to  the  study  of  bodies,  the  phenomena 
relative  to  their  probable  causes,  and  the  consequences  which  flow  from  them  under  every  variety  of 
circumstance.  Hobbes  laid  special  stress  upon  the  significance  of  words,  declaring  understanding  to 
be  the  faculty  of  perceiving  the  relationship  between  words  and  the  objects  for  which  they  stand. 

Having  broken  away  from  the  scholastic  and  theological  schools,  Post-Reformation,  or  modern, 
philosophy  experienced  a  most  prolific  growth  along  many  diverse  lines.  According  to  Humanism, 
man  is  the  measure  of  all  things;  Rationalism  makes  the  reasoning  faculties  the  basis  of  all  knowledge; 
Political  Philosophy  holds  that  man  must  comprehend  his  natural,  social,  and  national  privileges; 
Empiricism  declares  that  alone  to  be  true  which  is  demonstrable  by  experiment  or  experience; 
Moralism  emphasizes  the  necessity  of  right  conduct  as  a  fundamental  philosophic  tenet;  Idealism 
asserts  the  realities  of  the  universe  to  be  superphysical—either  mental  or  psychical;  Realism,  the 
reverse;  and  Phenomenalism  restricts  knowledge  to  facts  or  events  which  can  be  scientifically 
described  or  explained.  The  most  recent  developments  in  the  field  of  philosophic  thought  are 
Behaviorism  and  Neo-Realism.  The  former  estimates  the  intrinsic  characteristics  through  an  analysis 
of  behavior;  the  latter  maybe  summed  up  as  the  total  extinction  of  idealism. 

Baruch  de  Spinoza,  the  eminent  Dutch  philosopher,  conceived  God  to  be  a  substance  absolutely  self- 
existent  and  needing  no  other  conception  besides  itself  to  render  it  complete  and  intelligible.  The 
nature  of  this  Being  was  held  by  Spinoza  to  be  comprehensible  only  through  its  attributes,  which  are 
extension  and  thought:  these  combine 


From  an  old  print,  courtesy  of  Carl  Oscar  Borg. 

In  ridiculing  the  geocentric  system  of  astronomy  expounded  by  Claudius  Ptolemy,  modem  astronomers  have  overlooked 
the  philosophic  key  to  the  Ptolemaic  system.  The  universe  of  Ptolemy  is  a  diagrammatic  representation  of  the 
relationships  existing  between  the  various  divine  and  elemental  parts  of  every  creature,  and  is  not  concerned  with 
astronomy  as  that  science  is  now  comprehended.  In  the  above  figure,  special  attention  is  called  to  the  three  circles  of 
zodiacs  surrounding  the  orbits  of  the  planets.  These  zodiacs  represent  the  threefold  spiritual  constitution  of  the  universe. 
The  orbits  of  the  planets  are  the  Governors  of  the  World  and  the  four  elemental  spheres  in  the  center  represent  the 
physical  constitution  of  both  man  and  the  universe,  Ptolemy's  scheme  of  the  universe  is  simply  a  cross  section  of  the 
universal  aura,  the  planets  and  elements  to  which  he  refers  having  no  relation  to  those  recognized  by  modern  astronomers. 

p.  18 

to  form  an  endless  variety  of  aspects  or  modes.  The  mind  of  man  is  one  of  the  modes  of  infinite 
thought;  the  body  of  man  one  of  the  modes  of  infinite  extension.  Through  reason  man  is  enabled  to 
elevate  himself  above  the  illusionary  world  of  the  senses  and  find  eternal  repose  in  perfect  union  with 
the  Divine  Essence.  Spinoza,  it  has  been  said,  deprived  God  of  all  personality,  making  Deity 
synonymous  with  the  universe. 

German  philosophy  had  its  inception  with  Gottfried  Wilhelm  von  Leibnitz,  whose  theories  are 
permeated  with  the  qualities  of  optimism  and  idealism.  Leibnitz's  criteria  of  sufficient  reason 
revealed  to  him  the  insufficiency  of  Descartes'  theory  of  extension,  and  he  therefore  concluded  that 
substance  itself  contained  an  inherent  power  in  the  form  of  an  incalculable  number  of  separate  and 
all-sufficient  units.  Matter  reduced  to  its  ultimate  particles  ceases  to  exist  as  a  substantial  body,  being 
resolved  into  a  mass  of  immaterial  ideas  or  metaphysical  units  of  power,  to  which  Leibnitz  applied  the 

term  monad.  Thus  the  universe  is  composed  of  an  infinite  number  of  separate  monadic  entities 
unfolding  spontaneously  through  the  objectification  of  innate  active  qualities.  All  things  are  conceived 
as  consisting  of  single  monads  of  varying  magnitudes  or  of  aggregations  of  these  bodies,  which  may 
exist  as  physical,  emotional,  mental,  or  spiritual  substances.  God  is  the  first  and  greatest  Monad;  the 
spirit  of  man  is  an  awakened  monad  in  contradistinction  to  the  lower  kingdoms  whose  governing 
monadic  powers  are  in  a  semi-dormant  state. 

Though  a  product  of  the  Leibnitzian-Wolfian  school,  Immanuel  Kant,  like  Locke,  dedicated  himself  to 
investigation  of  the  powers  and  limits  of  human  understanding.  The  result  was  his  critical  philosophy, 
embracing  the  critique  of  pure  reason,  the  critique  of  practical  reason,  and  the  critique  of  judgment. 
Dr.  W.  J.  Durant  sums  up  Kant's  philosophy  in  the  concise  statement  that  he  rescued  mind  from 
matter.  The  mind  Kant  conceived  to  be  the  selector  and  coordinator  of  all  perceptions,  which  in  turn 
are  the  result  of  sensations  grouping  themselves  about  some  external  object.  In  the  classification  of 
sensations  and  ideas  the  mind  employs  certain  categories:  of  sense,  time  and  space;  of  understanding, 
quality,  relation,  modality,  and  causation;  and  the  unity  of  apperception.  Being  subject  to 
mathematical  laws,  time  and  space  are  considered  absolute  and  sufficient  bases  for  exact  thinking. 
Kant's  practical  reason  declared  that  while  the  nature  of  noumenon  could  never  be  comprehended  by 
the  reason,  the  fact  of  morality  proves  the  existence  of  three  necessary  postulates:  free  will, 
immortality,  and  God.  In  the  critique  of  judgment  Kant  demonstrates  the  union  of  the  noumenon  and 
the  phenomenon  in  art  and  biological  evolution.  German  superintellectualism  is  the  outgrowth  of  an 
overemphasis  of  Kant's  theory  of  the  autocratic  supremaq?^  of  the  mind  over  sensation  and  thought. 
The  philosophy  of  Johann  Gottlieb  Fichte  was  a  projection  of  Kant's  philosophy,  wherein  he 
attempted  to  unite  Kant's  practical  reason  with  his  pure  reason.  Fichte  held  that  the  known  is  merely 
the  contents  of  the  consciousness  of  the  knower,  and  that  nothing  can  exist  to  the  knower  until  it 
becomes  part  of  those  contents.  Nothing  is  actually  real,  therefore,  except  the  facts  of  one's  own 
mental  experience. 

Recognizing  the  necessity  of  certain  objective  realities,  Friedrich  Wilhelm  Joseph  von  Schelling,  who 
succeeded  Fichte  in  the  chair  of  philosophy  at  Jena,  first  employed  the  doctrine  of  identity  as  the 
groundwork  for  a  complete  system  of  philosophy.  Whereas  Fichte  regarded  self  as  the  Absolute,  von 
Schelling  conceived  infinite  and  eternal  Mind  to  be  the  all-pervading  Cause.  Realization  of  the 
Absolute  is  made  possible  by  intellectual  intuition  which,  being  a  superior  or  spiritual  sense,  is  able  to 
dissociate  itself  from  both  subject  and  object.  Kant's  categories  of  space  and  time  von  Schelling 
conceived  to  be  positive  and  negative  respectively,  and  material  existence  the  result  of  the  reciprocal 
action  of  these  two  expressions.  Von  Schelling  also  held  that  the  Absolute  in  its  process  of  self- 
development  proceeds  according  to  a  law  or  rhythm  consisting  of  three  movements.  The  first,  a 
reflective  movement,  is  the  attempt  of  the  Infinite  to  embody  itself  in  the  finite.  The  second,  that  of 
subsumption,  is  the  attempt  of  the  Absolute  to  return  to  the  Infinite  after  involvement  in  the  finite. 
The  third,  that  of  reason,  is  the  neutral  point  wherein  the  two  former  movements  are  blended. 

Georg  Wilhelm  Friedrich  Hegel  considered  the  intellectual  intuition  of  von  Schelling  to  be 
philosophically  unsound  and  hence  turned  his  attention  to  the  establishment  of  a  system  of 
philosophy  based  upon  pure  logic.  Of  Hegel  it  has  been  said  that  he  began  with  nothing  and  showed 
with  logical  precision  how  everything  had  proceeded  from  it  in  logical  order.  Hegel  elevated  logic  to  a 
position  of  supreme  importance,  in  fact  as  a  quality  of  the  Absolute  itself.  God  he  conceived  to  be  a 
process  of  unfolding  which  never  attains  to  the  condition  of  unfoldment.  In  like  manner,  thought  is 
without  either  beginning  or  end.  Hegel  further  believed  that  all  things  owe  their  existence  to  their 
opposites  and  that  all  opposites  are  actually  identical.  Thus  the  only  existence  is  the  relationship  of 
opposites  to  each  other,  through  whose  combinations  new  elements  are  produced.  As  the  Divine 
Mind  is  an  eternal  process  of  thought  never  accomplished,  Hegel  assails  the  very  foundation  of 
theism  and  his  philosophy  limits  immortality  to  the  everflowing  Deity  alone.  Evolution  is 
consequently  the  never-ending  flow  of  Divine  Consciousness  out  of  itself;  all  creation,  though 
continually  moving,  never  arrives  at  any  state  other  than  that  of  ceaseless  flow. 

Johann  Friedrich  Herbart's  philosophy  was  a  reahstic  reaction  from  the  idealism  of  Fichte  and  von 
Schelling.  To  Herbart  the  true  basis  of  philosophy  was  the  great  mass  of  phenomena  continually 
moving  through  the  human  mind.  Examination  of  phenomena,  however,  demonstrates  that  a  great 
part  of  it  is  unreal,  at  least  incapable  of  supplying  the  mind  with  actual  truth.  To  correct  the  false 
impressions  caused  by  phenomena  and  discover  reality,  Herbart  believed  it  necessary  to  resolve 
phenomena  into  separate  elements,  for  reality  exists  in  the  elements  and  not  in  the  whole.  He  stated 
that  objects  can  be  classified  by  three  general  terms:  thing,  matter,  and  mind;  the  first  a  unit  of 
several  properties,  the  second  an  existing  object,  the  third  a  self-conscious  being.  All  three  notions 
give  rise,  however,  to  certain  contradictions,  with  whose  solution  Herbart  is  primarily  concerned.  For 
example,  consider  matter.  Though  capable  of  filling  space,  if  reduced  to  its  ultimate  state  it  consists  of 
incomprehensibly  minute  units  of  divine  energy  occupying  no  physical  space  whatsoever. 

The  true  subject  of  Arthur  Schopenhauer's  philosophy  is  the  will;  the  object  of  his  philosophy  is  the 
elevation  of  the  mind  to  the  point  where  it  is  capable  of  controlling  the  will.  Schopenhauer  likens  the 
will  to  a  strong  blind  man  who  carries  on  his  shoulders  the  intellect,  which  is  a  weak  lame  man 
possessing  the  power  of  sight.  The  will  is  the  tireless  cause  of  manifestation  and  every  part  of  Nature 
the  product  of  will.  The  brain  is  the  product  of  the  will  to  know;  the  hand  the  product  of  the  will  to 
grasp.  The  entire  intellectual  and  emotional  constitutions  of  man  are  subservient  to  the  will  and  are 
largely  concerned  with  the  effort  to  justify  the  dictates  of  the  will.  Thus  the  mind  creates  elaborate 
systems  of  thought  simply  to  prove  the  necessity  of  the  thing  willed.  Genius,  however,  represents  the 
state  wherein  the  intellect  has  gained  supremacy  over  the  will  and  the  life  is  ruled  by  reason  and  not 
by  impulse.  The  strength  of  Christianity,  said  Schopenhauer,  lay  in  its  pessimism  and  conquest  of 
individual  will.  His  own  religious  viewpoints  resembled  closely  the  Buddhistic.  To  him  Nirvana 
represented  the  subjugation  of  will.  Life—the  manifestation  of  the  blind  will  to  live—he  viewed  as  a 
misfortune,  claiming  that  the  true  philosopher  was  one  who,  recognizing  the  wisdom  of  death, 
resisted  the  inherent  urge  to  reproduce  his  kind. 


From  Hort's  The  New  Pantheon. 

Before  a  proper  appreciation  of  the  deeper  scientific  aspects  of  Greek  mythology  is  possible,  it  is  necessary  to  organize  the 
Greek  pantheon  and  arrange  its  gods,  goddesses,  and  various  superhuman  hierarchies  in  concatenated  order.  Proclus,  the 
great  Neo-Platonist,  in  his  commentaries  on  the  theology  of  Plato,  gives  an  invaluable  key  to  the  sequence  of  the  various 
deities  in  relation  to  the  First  Cause  and  the  inferior  powers  emanating  from  themselves.  When  thus  arranged,  the  divine 
hierarchies  may  be  likened  to  the  branches  of  a  great  tree.  The  roots  of  this  tree  are  firmly  imbedded  in  Unknowable  Being. 
The  trunk  and  larger  branches  of  the  tree  symbolize  the  superior  gods;  the  twigs  and  leaves,  the  innumerable  existences 
dependent  upon  the  first  and  unchanging  Power. 

p.  19 

Of  Friedrich  Wilhelm  Nietzsche  it  has  been  said  that  his  peculiar  contribution  to  the  cause  of  human 
hope  was  the  glad  tidings  that  God  had  died  of  pity!  The  outstanding  features  of  Nietzsche's 
philosophy  are  his  doctrine  of  eternal  recurrence  and  the  extreme  emphasis  placed  by  him  upon  the 
will  to  power— SL  projection  of  Schopenhauer's  will  to  live.  Nietzsche  believed  the  purpose  of  existence 
to  be  the  production  of  a  type  of  all-powerful  individual,  designated  by  him  the  superman.  This 
superman  was  the  product  of  careful  culturing,  for  if  not  separated  forcibly  from  the  mass  and 
consecrated  to  the  production  of  power,  the  individual  would  sink  back  to  the  level  of  the  deadly 
mediocre.  Love,  Nietzsche  said,  should  be  sacrificed  to  the  production  of  the  superman  and  those  only 

should  marry  who  are  best  fitted  to  produce  this  outstanding  type.  Nietzsche  also  believed  in  the  rule 

of  the  aristocracy,  both  blood  and  breeding  being  essential  to  the  establishment  of  this  superior  type. 
Nietzsche's  doctrine  did  not  liberate  the  masses;  it  rather  placed  over  them  supermen  for  whom  their 
inferior  brothers  and  sisters  should  be  perfectly  reconciled  to  die.  Ethically  and  politically,  the 
superman  was  a  law  unto  himself.  To  those  who  understand  the  true  meaning  of  power  to  be  virtue, 
self-control,  and  truth,  the  ideality  behind  Nietzsche's  theory  is  apparent.  To  the  superficial,  however, 
it  is  a  philosophy  heartless  and  calculating,  concerned  solely  with  the  survival  of  the  fittest. 

Of  the  other  German  schools  of  philosophic  thought,  limitations  of  space  preclude  detailed  mention. 
The  more  recent  developments  of  the  German  school  are  Freudianism  and  Relativism  (often  called 
the  Einstein  theory).  The  former  is  a  system  of  psychoanalysis  through  psychopathic  and  neurological 
phenomena;  the  latter  attacks  the  accuracy  of  mechanical  principles  dependent  upon  the  present 
theory  of  velocity. 

Rene  Descartes  stands  at  the  head  of  the  French  school  of  philosophy  and  shares  with  Sir  Francis 
Bacon  the  honor  of  founding  the  systems  of  modern  science  and  philosophy.  As  Bacon  based  his 
conclusions  upon  observation  of  external  things,  so  Descartes  founded  his  metaphysical  philosophy 
upon  observation  of  internal  things.  Cartesianism  (the  philosophy  of  Descartes)  first  eliminates  all 
things  and  then  replaces  as  fundamental  those  premises  without  which  existence  is  impossible. 
Descartes  defined  an  idea  as  that  which  fills  the  mind  when  we  conceive  a  thing.  The  truth  of  an  idea 
must  be  determined  by  the  criteria  of  clarity  and  distinctness.  Hence  Descartes,  held  that  a  clear  and 
distinct  idea  must  be  true.  Descartes  has  the  distinction  also  of  evolving  his  own  philosophy  without 
recourse  to  authority.  Consequently  his  conclusions  are  built  up  from  the  simplest  of  premises  and 
grow  in  complexity  as  the  structure  of  his  philosophy  takes  form. 

The  Positive  philosophy  of  Auguste  Comte  is  based  upon  the  theory  that  the  human  intellect  develops 

through  three  stages  of  thought.  The  first  and  lowest  stage  is  theological;  the  second,  metaphysical; 
and  the  third  and  highest,  positive.  Thus  theology  and  metaphysics  are  the  feeble  intellectual  efforts 
of  humanity's  child-mind  and  positivism  is  the  mental  expression  of  the  adult  intellect.  In  his  Cours 
de  Philosophie  positive,  Comte  writes: 

"In  the  final,  the  positive  state,  the  mind  has  given  over  the  vain  search  after  Absolute  notions,  the 
origin  and  destination  of  the  universe,  and  the  causes  of  phenomena,  and  applies  itself  to  the  study  of 
their  laws,~that  is,  their  invariable  relations  of  succession  and  resemblance.  Reasoning  and 
observation,  duly  combined,  are  the  means  of  this  knowledge."  Comte's  theory  is  described  as  an 
"enormous  system  of  materialism."  According  to  Comte,  it  was  formerly  said  that  the  heavens  declare 
the  glory  of  God,  but  now  they  only  recount  the  glory  of  Newton  and  Laplace. 

Among  the  French  schools  of  philosophy  are  Traditionalism  (often  applied  to  Christianity),  which 
esteems  tradition  as  the  proper  foundation  for  philosophy;  the  Sociological  school,  which  regards 
humanity  as  one  vast  social  organism;  the  Encyclopedists,  whose  efforts  to  classify  knowledge 
according  to  the  Baconian  system  revolutionized  European  thought;  Voltairism,  which  assailed  the 
divine  origin  of  the  Christian  faith  and  adopted  an  attitude  of  extreme  skepticism  toward  all  matters 
pertaining  to  theology;  and  Neo-Criticism,  a  French  revision  of  the  doctrines  of  Immanuel  Kant. 

Henri  Bergson,  the  intuitionalist,  undoubtedly  the  greatest  living  French  philosopher,  presents  a 
theory  of  mystic  anti-intellectualism  founded  upon  the  premise  of  creative  evolution.  His  rapid  rise  to 
popularity  is  due  to  his  appeal  to  the  finer  sentiments  in  human  nature,  which  rebel  against  the 
hopelessness  and  helplessness  of  materialistic  science  and  realistic  philosophy.  Bergson  sees  God  as 
life  continually  struggling  against  the  limitations  of  matter.  He  even  conceives  the  possible  victory  of 
life  over  matter,  and  in  time  the  annihilation  of  death. 

Applying  the  Baconian  method  to  the  mind,  John  Locke,  the  great  EngHsh  philosopher,  declared  that 

everything  which  passes  through  the  mind  is  a  legitimate  object  of  mental  philosophy,  and  that  these 
mental  phenomena  are  as  real  and  valid  as  the  objects  of  any  other  science.  In  his  investigations  of 
the  origin  of  phenomena  Locke  departed  from  the  Baconian  requirement  that  it  was  first  necessary  to 
make  a  natural  history  of  facts.  The  mind  was  regarded  by  Locke  to  be  blank  until  experience  is 
inscribed  upon  it.  Thus  the  mind  is  built  up  of  received  impressions  plus  reflection.  The  soul  Locke 
believed  to  be  incapable  of  apprehension  of  Deity,  and  man's  realization  or  cognition  of  God  to  be 
merely  an  inference  of  the  reasoning  faculty.  David  Hume  was  the  most  enthusiastic  and  also  the 
most  powerful  of  the  disciples  of  Locke. 

Attacking  Locke's  sensationalism,  Bishop  George  Berkeley  substituted  for  it  a  philosophy  founded  on 
Locke's  fundamental  premises  but  which  he  developed  as  a  system  of  idealism.  Berkeley  held  that 
ideas  are  the  real  objects  of  knowledge.  He  declared  it  impossible  to  adduce  proof  that  sensations  are 
occasioned  by  material  objects;  he  also  attempted  to  prove  that  matter  has  no  existence. 
Berkeleianism  holds  that  the  universe  is  permeated  and  governed  by  mind.  Thus  the  belief  in  the 
existence  of  material  objects  is  merely  a  mental  condition,  and  the  objects  themselves  may  well  be 
fabrications  of  the  mind.  At  the  same  time  Berkeley  considered  it  worse  than  insanity  to  question  the 
accuraq?^  of  the  perceptions;  for  if  the  power  of  the  perceptive  faculties  be  questioned  man  is  reduced 
to  a  creature  incapable  of  knowing,  estimating,  or  realizing  anything  whatsoever. 

In  the  Associationalism  of  Hartley  and  Hume  was  advanced  the  theory  that  the  association  of  ideas  is 
the  fundamental  principle  of  psychology  and  the  explanation  for  all  mental  phenomena.  Hartley  held 
that  if  a  sensation  be  repeated  several  times  there  is  a  tendency  towards  its  spontaneous  repetition, 
which  may  be  awakened  by  association  with  some  other  idea  even  though  the  object  causing  the 
original  reaction  be  absent.  The  Utilitarianism  of  Jeremy  Bentham,  Archdeacon  Paley,  and  James 
and  John  Stuart  Mill  declares  that  to  be  the  greatest  good  which  is  the  most  useful  to  the  greatest 
number.  John  Stuart  Mill  believed  that  if  it  is  possible  through  sensation  to  secure  knowledge  of  the 
properties  of  things,  it  is  also  possible  through  a  higher  state  of  the  mind—that  is,  intuition  or  reason- 
-to  gain  a  knowledge  of  the  true  substance  of  things. 

Darwinism  is  the  doctrine  of  natural  selection  and  physical  evolution.  It  has  been  said  of  Charles 
Robert  Darwin  that  he  determined  to  banish  spirit  altogether  from  the  universe  and  make  the  infinite 
and  omnipresent  Mind  itself  synonymous  with  the  all-pervading  powers  of  an  impersonal  Nature. 
Agnosticism  and  Neo-Hegelianism  are  also  noteworthy  products  of  this  period  of  philosophic 
thought.  The  former  is  the  belief  that  the  nature  of  ultimates  is  unknowable;  the  latter  an  English  and 
American  revival  of  Hegel's  idealism. 

Dr.  W.  J.  Durant  declares  that  Herbert  Spencer's  Great  Work,  First  Principles,  made  him  almost  at 
once  the  most  famous  philosopher  of  his  time.  Spencerianism  is  a  philosophic  positivism  which 
describes  evolution  as  an  ever-increasing  complexity  with  equilibrium  as  its  highest  possible  state. 
According  to  Spencer,  life  is  a  continuous  process  from  homogeneity  to  heterogeneity  and  back  from 
heterogeneity  to  homogeneity.  Life  also  involves  the  continual  adjustment  of  internal  relations  to 
external  relations.  Most  famous  of  all  Spencer's  aphorisms  is  his  definition  of  Deity:  "God  is  infinite 
intelligence,  infinitely  diversified  through  infinite  time  and  infinite  space,  manifesting  through  an 
infinitude  of  ever-evolving  individualities."  The  universality  of  the  law  of  evolution  was  emphasized 
by  Spencer,  who  applied  it  not  only  to  the  form  but  also  to  the  intelligence  behind  the  form.  In  every 
manifestation  of  being  he  recognized  the  fundamental  tendency  of  unfoldment  from  simplicity  to 
complexity,  observing  that  when  the  point  of  equilibrium  is  reached  it  is 


From  Hone's  Ancient  Mystenes  Described. 

In  an  effort  to  set  forth  in  an  appropriate  figure  the  Christian  doctrine  of  the  Trinity,  it  was  necessary  to  devise  an  image  in 
which  the  three  persons—Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost— were  separate  and  yet  one.  In  different  parts  of  Europe  may  be 
seen  figures  similar  to  the  above,  wherein  three  faces  are  united  in  one  head.  This  is  a  legitimate  method  of  for  to  those 
able  to  realize  the  sacred  significance  of  the  threefold  head  a  great  mystery  is  revealed.  However,  in  the  presence  of  such 
applications  of  symbology  in  Christian  art,  it  is  scarcely  proper  to  consider  the  philosophers  of  other  faiths  as  benighted  if, 
like  the  Hindus,  they  have  a  three-faced  Brahma,  or,  like  the  Romans,  a  two-faced  Janus. 

p.  20 

always  followed  by  the  process  of  dissolution.  According  to  Spencer,  however,  disintegration  took 
place  only  that  reintegration  might  follow  upon  a  higher  level  of  being. 

The  chief  position  in  the  Italian  school  of  philosophy  should  be  awarded  to  Giordano  Bruno,  who, 
after  enthusiastically  accepting  Copernicus'  theory  that  the  sun  is  the  center  of  the  solar  system, 
declared  the  sun  to  be  a  star  and  all  the  stars  to  be  suns.  In  Bruno's  time  the  earth  was  regarded  as  the 
center  of  all  creation.  Consequently  when  he  thus  relegated  the  world  and  man  to  an  obscure  corner 
in  space  the  effect  was  cataclysmic.  For  the  heresy  of  affirming  a  multiplicity  of  universes  and 
conceiving  Cosmos  to  be  so  vast  that  no  single  creed  could  fill  it,  Bruno  paid  the  forfeit  of  his  life. 

Vicoism  is  a  philosophy  based  upon  the  conclusions  of  Giovanni  Battista  Vico,  who  held  that  God 
controls  His  world  not  miraculously  but  through  natural  law.  The  laws  by  which  men  rule  themselves, 
Vico  declared,  issue  from  a  spiritual  source  within  mankind  which  is  en  rapport  with  the  law  of  the 
Deity.  Hence  material  law  is  of  divine  origin  and  reflects  the  dictates  of  the  Spiritual  Father.  The 
philosophy  of  Ontologism  developed  by  Vincenzo  Gioberti  (generally  considered  more  as  a  theologian 
than  a  philosopher)  posits  God  as  the  only  being  and  the  origin  of  all  knowledge,  knowledge  being 
identical  with  Deity  itself.  God  is  consequently  called  Being;  all  other  manifestations  are  existences. 
Truth  is  to  be  discovered  through  reflection  upon  this  mystery. 

The  most  important  of  modern  Italian  philosophers  is  Benedetto  Croce,  a  Hegelian  idealist.  Croce 
conceives  ideas  to  be  the  only  reality.  He  is  anti-theological  in  his  viewpoints,  does  not  believe  in  the 
immortality  of  the  soul,  and  seeks  to  substitute  ethics  and  aesthetics  for  religion.  Among  other 
branches  of  Italian  philosophy  should  be  mentioned  Sensism  (Sensationalism),  which  posits  the 
sense  perceptions  as  the  sole  channels  for  the  reception  of  knowledge;  Criticism,  or  the  philosophy  of 
accurate  judgment;  and  Neo-Scholasticism,  which  is  a  revival  of  Thomism  encouraged  by  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church. 

The  two  outstanding  schools  of  American  philosophy  are  Transcendentalism  and  Pragmatism. 
Transcendentalism,  exemplified  in  the  writings  of  Ralph  Waldo  Emerson,  emphasizes  the  power  of 
the  transcendental  over  the  physical.  Many  of  Emerson's  writings  show  pronounced  Oriental 
influence,  particularly  his  essays  on  the  Oversoul  and  the  Law  of  Compensation.  The  theory  of 
Pragmatism,  while  not  original  with  Professor  William  James,  owes  its  widespread  popularity  as  a 
philosophic  tenet  to  his  efforts.  Pragmatism  may  be  defined  as  the  doctrine  that  the  meaning  and 
nature  of  things  are  to  be  discovered  from  consideration  of  their  consequences.  The  true,  according  to 
James,  "is  only  an  expedient  in  the  way  of  our  thinking,  just  as  'the  right'  is  only  an  expedient  in  the 
way  of  our  behaving."  (See  his  Pragmatism.)  John  Dewey,  the  Instrumentalist,  who  applies  the 
experimental  attitude  to  all  the  aims  of  life,  should  be  considered  a  commentator  of  James.  To  Dewey, 
growth  and  change  are  limitless  and  no  ultimates  are  postulated.  The  long  residence  in  America  of 
George  Santayana  warrants  the  listing  of  this  great  Spaniard  among  the  ranks  of  American 
philosophers.  Defending  himself  with  the  shield  of  skepticism  alike  from  the  illusions  of  the  senses 
and  the  cumulative  errors  of  the  ages,  Santayana  seeks  to  lead  mankind  into  a  more  apprehending 
state  denominated  by  him  the  life  of  reason. 

(In  addition  to  the  authorities  already  quoted,  in  the  preparation  of  the  foregoing  abstract  of  the  main 
branches  of  philosophic  thought  the  present  writer  has  had  recourse  to  Stanley's  History  of 
Philosophy;  Morell's  An  Historical  and  Critical  View  of  the  Speculative  Philosophy  of  Europe  in  the 
Nineteenth  Century;  Singer's  Modern  Thinkers  and  Present  Problems;  Rand's  Modern  Classical 
Philosophers;  Windelband's  History  of  Philosophy;  Perry's  Present  Philosophical  Tendencies; 
Hamilton's  Lectures  on  Metaphysics  and  Logic;  and  Durant's  The  Story  of  Philosophy.) 

Having  thus  traced  the  more  or  less  sequential  development  of  philosophic  speculation  from  Thales 
to  James  and  Bergson,  it  is  now  in  order  to  direct  the  reader's  attention  to  the  elements  leading  to  and 
the  circumstances  attendant  upon  the  genesis  of  philosophic  thinking.  Although  the  Hellenes  proved 
themselves  peculiarly  responsive  to  the  disciplines  of  philosophy,  this  science  of  sciences  should  not 
be  considered  indigenous  to  them.  "Although  some  of  the  Grecians,"  writes  Thomas  Stanley,  "have 
challenged  to  their  nation  the  original  of  philosophy,  yet  the  more  learned  of  them  have 
acknowledged  it  [to  be]  derived  from  the  East."  The  magnificent  institutions  of  Hindu,  Chaldean,  and 
Egyptian  learning  must  be  recognized  as  the  actual  source  of  Greek  wisdom.  The  last  was  patterned 
after  the  shadow  cast  by  the  sanctuaries  of  EUora,  Ur,  and  Memphis  upon  the  thought  substance  of  a 
primitive  people.  Thales,  Pythagoras,  and  Plato  in  their  philosophic  wanderings  contacted  many 
distant  cults  and  brought  back  the  lore  of  Egypt  and  the  inscrutable  Orient. 

From  indisputable  facts  such  as  these  it  is  evident  that  philosophy  emerged  from  the  religious 
Mysteries  of  antiquity,  not  being  separated  from  religion  until  after  the  decay  of  the  Mysteries.  Hence 
he  who  would  fathom  the  depths  of  philosophic  thought  must  familiarize  himself  with  the  teachings 
of  those  initiated  priests  designated  as  the  first  custodians  of  divine  revelation.  The  Mysteries  claimed 
to  be  the  guardians  of  a  transcendental  knowledge  so  profound  as  to  be  incomprehensible  save  to  the 
most  exalted  intellect  and  so  potent  as  to  be  revealed  with  safety  only  to  those  in  whom  personal 
ambition  was  dead  and  who  had  consecrated  their  lives  to  the  unselfish  service  of  humanity.  Both  the 
dignity  of  these  sacred  institutions  and  the  validity  of  their  claim  to  possession  of  Universal  Wisdom 
are  attested  by  the  most  illustrious  philosophers  of  antiquity,  who  were  themselves  initiated  into  the 
profundities  of  the  secret  doctrine  and  who  bore  witness  to  its  efficacy. 

The  question  may  legitimately  be  propounded:  If  these  ancient  mystical  institutions  were  of  such 
"great  pith  and  moment,"  why  is  so  little  information  now  available  concerning  them  and  the  arcana 
they  claimed  to  possess?  The  answer  is  simple  enough:  The  Mysteries  were  secret  societies,  binding 
their  initiates  to  inviolable  secrecy,  and  avenging  with  death  the  betrayal  of  their  sacred  trusts. 
Although  these  schools  were  the  true  inspiration  of  the  various  doctrines  promulgated  by  the  ancient 
philosophers,  the  fountainhead  of  those  doctrines  was  never  revealed  to  the  profane.  Furthermore,  in 
the  lapse  of  time  the  teachings  became  so  inextricably  linked  with  the  names  of  their  disseminators 
that  the  actual  but  recondite  source—the  Mysteries—came  to  be  wholly  ignored. 

Symbolism  is  the  language  of  the  Mysteries;  in  fact  it  is  the  language  not  only  of  mysticism  and 
philosophy  but  of  all  Nature,  for  every  law  and  power  active  in  universal  procedure  is  manifested  to 
the  limited  sense  perceptions  of  man  through  the  medium  of  symbol.  Every  form  existing  in  the 
diversified  sphere  of  being  is  symbolic  of  the  divine  activity  by  which  it  is  produced.  By  symbols  men 
have  ever  sought  to  communicate  to  each  other  those  thoughts  which  transcend  the  limitations  of 
language.  Rejecting  man-conceived  dialects  as  inadequate  and  unworthy  to  perpetuate  divine  ideas, 
the  Mysteries  thus  chose  symbolism  as  a  far  more  ingenious  and  ideal  method  of  preserving  their 
transcendental  knowledge.  In  a  single  figure  a  symbol  may  both  reveal  and  conceal,  for  to  the  wise  the 
subject  of  the  symbol  is  obvious,  while  to  the  ignorant  the  figure  remains  inscrutable.  Hence,  he  who 
seeks  to  unveil  the  secret  doctrine  of  antiquity  must  search  for  that  doctrine  not  upon  the  open  pages 
of  books  which  might  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  unworthy  but  in  the  place  where  it  was  originally 

Far-sighted  were  the  initiates  of  antiquity.  They  realized  that  nations  come  and  go,  that  empires  rise 
and  fall,  and  that  the  golden  ages  of  art,  science,  and  idealism  are  succeeded  by  the  dark  ages  of 
superstition.  With  the  needs  of  posterity  foremost  in  mind,  the  sages  of  old  went  to  inconceivable 
extremes  to  make  certain  that  their  knowledge  should  be  preserved.  They  engraved  it  upon  the  face  of 
mountains  and  concealed  it  within  the  measurements  of  colossal  images,  each  of  which  was  a 
geometric  marvel.  Their  knowledge  of  chemistry  and  mathematics  they  hid  within  mythologies  which 
the  ignorant  would  perpetuate,  or  in  the  spans  and  arches  of  their  temples  which  time  has  not  entirely 
obliterated.  They  wrote  in  characters  that  neither  the  vandalism  of  men  nor  the  ruthlessness  of  the 
elements  could  completely  efface.  Today  men  gaze  with  awe  and  reverence  upon  the  mighty 
Memnons  standing  alone  on  the  sands  of  Egypt,  or  upon  the  strange  terraced  pyramids  of  Palanque. 
Mute  testimonies  these  are  of  the  lost  arts  and  sciences  of  antiquity;  and  concealed  this  wisdom  must 
remain  until  this  race  has  learned  to  read  the  universal  language— SYMBOLISM. 

The  book  to  which  this  is  the  introduction  is  dedicated  to  the  proposition  that  concealed  within  the 
emblematic  figures,  allegories,  and  rituals  of  the  ancients  is  a  secret  doctrine  concerning  the  inner 
mysteries  of  life,  which  doctrine  has  been  preserved  in  toto  among  a  small  band  of  initiated  minds 
since  the  beginning  of  the  world.  Departing,  these  illumined  philosophers  left  their  formula  that 
others,  too,  might  attain  to  understanding.  But,  lest  these  secret  processes  fall  into  uncultured  hands 
and  be  perverted,  the  Great  Arcanum  was  always  concealed  in  symbol  or  allegory;  and  those  who  can 
today  discover  its  lost  keys  may  open  with  them  a  treasure  house  of  philosophic,  scientific,  and 
religious  truths. 


From  Bryant's  An  Analysis  of  Ancient  Mythology. 

The  ancient  symbol  of  the  Orphic  Mysteries  was  the  serpent-entwined  egg,  which  signified  Cosmos  as  encircled  by  the 
fiery  Creative  Spirit.  The  egg  also  represents  the  soul  of  the  philosopher;  the  serpent,  the  Mysteries.  At  the  time  of 
initiation  the  shell  is  broke,  and  man  emerges  from  the  embryonic  state  of  physical  existence  wherein  he  had  remained 
through  the  fetal  period  of  philosophic  regeneration. 

The  Ancient  Mysteries  and  Secret  Societies 

Which  Have  Influenced  Modem  Masonic  Symbolism 

p.  21 

WHEN  confronted  with  a  problem  involving  the  use  of  the  reasoning  faculties,  individuals  of  strong 
intellect  keep  their  poise,  and  seek  to  reach  a  solution  by  obtaining  facts  bearing  upon  the  question. 
Those  of  immature  mentality,  on  the  other  hand,  when  similarly  confronted,  are  overwhelmed.  While 
the  former  may  be  qualified  to  solve  the  riddle  of  their  own  destiny,  the  latter  must  be  led  like  a  flock 
of  sheep  and  taught  in  simple  language.  They  depend  almost  entirely  upon  the  ministrations  of  the 
shepherd.  The  Apostle  Paul  said  that  these  little  ones  must  be  fed  with  milk,  but  that  meat  is  the  food 
of  strong  men.  ThoughtZessness  is  almost  synonymous  with  childishness,  while  thought/iz/ness  is 
symbolic  of  maturity. 

There  are,  however,  but  few  mature  minds  in  the  world;  and  thus  it  was  that  the  philosophic-religious 

doctrines  of  the  pagans  were  divided  to  meet  the  needs  of  these  two  fundamental  groups  of  human 
intellect—one  philosophic,  the  other  incapable  of  appreciating  the  deeper  mysteries  of  life.  To  the 
discerning  few  were  revealed  the  esoteric,  or  spiritual,  teachings,  while  the  unqualified  many  received 
only  the  literal,  or  exoteric,  interpretations.  In  order  to  make  simple  the  great  truths  of  Nature  and 
the  abstract  principles  of  natural  law,  the  vital  forces  of  the  universe  were  personified,  becoming  the 
gods  and  goddesses  of  the  ancient  mythologies.  While  the  ignorant  multitudes  brought  their  offerings 
to  the  altars  of  Priapus  and  Pan  (deities  representing  the  procreative  energies),  the  wise  recognized  in 
these  marble  statues  only  symbolic  concretions  of  great  abstract  truths. 

In  all  cities  of  the  ancient  world  were  temples  for  public  worship  and  offering.  In  every  community 
also  were  philosophers  and  mystics,  deeply  versed  in  Nature's  lore.  These  individuals  were  usually 
banded  together,  forming  seclusive  philosophic  and  religious  schools.  The  more  important  of  these 
groups  were  known  as  the  Mysteries.  Many  of  the  great  minds  of  antiquity  were  initiated  into  these 
secret  fraternities  by  strange  and  mysterious  rites,  some  of  which  were  extremely  cruel.  Alexander 
Wilder  defines  the  Mysteries  as  "Sacred  dramas  performed  at  stated  periods.  The  most  celebrated 
were  those  of  Isis,  Sabazius,  Cybele,  and  Eleusis."  After  being  admitted,  the  initiates  were  instructed 
in  the  secret  wisdom  which  had  been  preserved  for  ages.  Plato,  an  initiate  of  one  of  these  sacred 
orders,  was  severely  criticized  because  in  his  writings  he  revealed  to  the  public  many  of  the  secret 
philosophic  principles  of  the  Mysteries. 

Every  pagan  nation  had  (and  has)  not  only  its  state  religion,  but  another  into  which  the  philosophic 

elect  alone  have  gained  entrance.  Many  of  these  ancient  cults  vanished  from  the  earth  without 
revealing  their  secrets,  but  a  few  have  survived  the  test  of  ages  and  their  mysterious  symbols  are  still 
preserved.  Much  of  the  ritualism  of  Freemasonry  is  based  on  the  trials  to  which  candidates  were 
subjected  by  the  ancient  hierophants  before  the  keys  of  wisdom  were  entrusted  to  them. 

Few  realize  the  extent  to  which  the  ancient  secret  schools  influenced  contemporary  intellects  and, 
through  those  minds,  posterity.  Robert  Macoy,  33°,  in  his  General  History  of  Freemasonry,  pays  a 
magnificent  tribute  to  the  part  played  by  the  ancient  Mysteries  in  the  rearing  of  the  edifice  of  human 
culture.  He  says,  in  part:  "It  appears  that  all  the  perfection  of  civilization,  and  all  the  advancement 
made  in  philosophy,  science,  and  art  among  the  ancients  are  due  to  those  institutions  which,  under 
the  veil  of  mystery,  sought  to  illustrate  the  sublimest  truths  of  religion,  morality,  and  virtue,  and 
impress  them  on  the  hearts  of  their  disciples.*  *  *  Their  chief  object  was  to  teach  the  doctrine  of  one 
God,  the  resurrection  of  man  to  eternal  life,  the  dignity  of  the  human  soul,  and  to  lead  the  people  to 
see  the  shadow  of  the  deity,  in  the  beauty,  magnificence,  and  splendor  of  the  universe." 

With  the  dedine  of  virtue,  which  has  preceded  the  destruction  of  every  nation  of  history,  the 
Mysteries  became  perverted.  Sorcery  took  the  place  of  the  divine  magic.  Indescribable  practices  (such 
as  the  Bacchanalia)  were  introduced,  and  perversion  ruled  supreme;  for  no  institution  can  be  any 
better  than  the  members  of  which  it  is  composed.  In  despair,  the  few  who  were  true  sought  to 
preserve  the  secret  doctrines  from  oblivion.  In  some  cases  they  succeeded,  but  more  often  the 
arcanum  was  lost  and  only  the  empty  shell  of  the  Mysteries  remained. 

Thomas  Taylor  has  written,  "Man  is  naturally  a  religious  animal."  From  the  earliest  dawning  of  his 
consciousness,  man  has  worshiped  and  revered  things  as  symbolic  of  the  invisible,  omnipresent, 
indescribable  Thing,  concerning  which  he  could  discover  practically  nothing.  The  pagan  Mysteries 
opposed  the  Christians  during  the  early  centuries  of  their  church,  declaring  that  the  new  faith 
(Christianity)  did  not  demand  virtue  and  integrity  as  requisites  for  salvation.  Celsus  expressed 
himself  on  the  subject  in  the  following  caustic  terms: 

"That  I  do  not,  however,  accuse  the  Christians  more  bitterly  than  truth  compels,  may  be  conjectured 
from  hence,  that  the  cryers  who  call  men  to  other  mysteries  proclaim  as  follows:  'Let  him  approach 
whose  hands  are  pure,  and  whose  words  are  wise.'  And  again,  others  proclaim:  'Let  him  approach 
who  is  pure  from  all  wickedness,  whose  soul  is  not  conscious  of  any  evil,  and  who  leads  a  just  and 
upright  life.'  And  these  things  are  proclaimed  by  those  who  promise  a  purification  from  error.  Let  us 
now  hear  who  those  are  that  are  called  to  the  Christian  mysteries:  Whoever  is  a  sinner,  whoever  is 
unwise,  whoever  is  a  fool,  and  whoever,  in  short,  is  miserable,  him  the  kingdom  of  God  will  receive. 
Do  you  not,  therefore,  call  a  sinner,  an  unjust  man,  a  thief,  a  housebreaker,  a  wizard,  one  who  is 
sacrilegious,  and  a  robber  of  sepulchres?  What  other  persons  would  the  cryer  nominate,  who  should 
call  robbers  together?" 

It  was  not  the  true  faith  of  the  early  Christian  mystics  that  Celsus  attacked,  but  the  false  forms  that 
were  creeping  in  even  during  his  day.  The  ideals  of  early  Christianity  were  based  upon  the  high  moral 
standards  of  the  pagan  Mysteries,  and  the  first  Christians  who  met  under  the  city  of  Rome  used  as 
their  places  of  worship  the  subterranean  temples  of  Mithras,  from  whose  cult  has  been  borrowed 
much  of  the  sacerdotalism  of  the  modem  church. 

The  ancient  philosophers  believed  that  no  man  could  live  intelligently  who  did  not  have  a 
fundamental  knowledge  of  Nature  and  her  laws.  Before  man  can  obey,  he  must  understand,  and  the 
Mysteries  were  devoted  to  instructing  man  concerning  the  operation  of  divine  law  in  the  terrestrial 
sphere.  Few  of  the  early  cults  actually  worshiped  anthropomorphic  deities,  although  their  symbolism 
might  lead  one  to  believe  they  did.  They  were  moralistic  rather  than  religionistic;  philosophic  rather 
than  theologic.  They  taught  man  to  use  his  faculties  more  intelligently,  to  be  patient  in  the  face  of 
adversity,  to  be  courageous  when  confronted  by  danger,  to  be  true  in  the  midst  of  temptation,  and, 
most  of  all,  to  view  a  worthy  life  as  the  most  acceptable  sacrifice  to  God,  and  his  body  as  an  altar 
sacred  to  the  Deity. 

Sun  worship  played  an  important  part  in  nearly  all  the  early  pagan  Mysteries.  This  indicates  the 
probability  of  their  Atlantean  origin,  for  the  people  of  Atlantis  were  sun  worshipers.  The  Solar  Deity 
was  usually  personified  as  a  beautiful  youth,  with  long  golden  hair  to  symbolize  the  rays  of  the  sun. 
This  golden  Sun  God  was  slain  by  wicked  ruffians,  who  personified  the  evil  principle  of  the  universe. 
By  means  of  certain  rituals  and  ceremonies,  symbolic  of  purification  and  regeneration,  this  wonderful 
God  of  Good  was  brought  back  to  life  and  became  the  Savior  of  His  people.  The  secret  processes 
whereby  He  was  resurrected  symbolized  those  cultures  by  means  of  which  man  is  able  to  overcome 
his  lower  nature,  master  his  appetites,  and  give  expression  to  the  higher  side  of  himself.  The 
Mysteries  were  organized  for  the  purpose  of  assisting  the  struggling  human  creature  to  reawaken  the 
spiritual  powers  which,  surrounded  by  the  flaming 


From  Montfaucon's  Antiquities. 

This  illustration  shows  Cybele,  here  called  the  Syrian  Goddess,  in  the  robes  of  a  hierophant.  Montfaucon  describes  the 
figure  as  follows:  "Upon  her  head  is  an  episcopal  mitre,  adorned  on  the  lower  part  with  towers  and  pinnacles;  over  the 
gate  of  the  city  is  a  crescent,  and  beneath  the  circuit  of  the  walls  a  crown  of  rays.  The  Goddess  wears  a  sort  of  surplice, 
exactly  like  the  surplice  of  a  priest  or  bishop;  and  upon  the  surplice  a  tunic,  which  falls  down  to  the  legs;  and  over  all  an 
episcopal  cope,  with  the  twelve  signs  of  the  Zodiac  wrought  on  the  borders.  The  figure  hath  a  lion  on  each  side,  and  holds 
in  its  left  hand  a  Tympanum,  a  Sistrum,  a  Distaff,  a  Caduceus,  and  another  instrument.  In  her  right  hand  she  holds  with 
her  middle  finger  a  thunderbolt,  and  upon  the  same  am  animals,  insects,  and,  as  far  as  we  may  guess,  flowers,  fruit,  a  bow, 
a  quiver,  a  torch,  and  a  sc5^he."  The  whereabouts  of  the  statue  is  unknown,  the  copy  reproduced  by  Montfaucon  being 
from  drawings  by  Pirro  Ligorio. 

p.  22 

ring  of  lust  and  degeneraq'^,  lay  asleep  within  his  soul.  In  other  words,  man  was  offered  a  way  by 
which  he  could  regain  his  lost  estate.  (See  Wagner's  Siegfried.) 

In  the  ancient  world,  nearly  all  the  secret  societies  were  philosophic  and  religious.  During  the 
mediaeval  centuries,  they  were  chiefly  religious  and  political,  although  a  few  philosophic  schools 
remained.  In  modern  times,  secret  societies,  in  the  Occidental  countries,  are  largely  political  or 
fraternal,  although  in  a  few  of  them,  as  in  Masonry,  the  ancient  religious  and  philosophic  principles 
still  survive. 

Space  prohibits  a  detailed  discussion  of  the  secret  schools.  There  were  literally  scores  of  these  ancient 
cults,  with  branches  in  all  parts  of  the  Eastern  and  Western  worlds.  Some,  such  as  those  of  Pythagoras 
and  the  Hermetists,  show  a  decided  Oriental  influence,  while  the  Rosicrucians,  according  to  their  own 
proclamations,  gained  much  of  their  wisdom  from  Arabian  mystics.  Although  the  Mystery  schools  are 
usually  associated  with  civilization,  there  is  evidence  that  the  most  uncivilized  peoples  of  prehistoric 
times  had  a  knowledge  of  them.  Natives  of  distant  islands,  many  in  the  lowest  forms  of  savagery,  have 
mystic  rituals  and  secret  practices  which,  although  primitive,  are  of  a  decided  Masonic  tinge. 


"The  original  and  primitive  inhabitants  of  Britain,  at  some  remote  period,  revived  and  reformed  their 
national  institutes.  Their  priest,  or  instructor,  had  hitherto  been  simply  named  Gwydd,  but  it  was 
considered  to  have  become  necessary  to  divide  this  office  between  the  national,  or  superior,  priest 
and  another  whose  influence  [would]  be  more  limited.  From  henceforth  the  former  became  Der- 
Wydd  (Druid),  or  superior  instructor,  and  [the  latter]  Go-Wydd,  or  0-Vydd  (Ovate),  subordinate 
instructor;  and  both  went  by  the  general  name  of  Beirdd  (Bards),  or  teachers  of  wisdom.  As  the 
system  matured  and  augmented,  the  Bardic  Order  consisted  of  three  classes,  the  Druids,  Beirdd 
Braint,  or  privileged  Bards,  and  Ovates."  (See  Samuel  Meyrick  and  Charles  Smith,  The  Costume  of 
The  Original  Inhabitants  of  The  British  Islands.) 

The  origin  of  the  word  Druid  is  under  dispute.  Max  Miiller  believes  that,  like  the  Irish  word  Drui,  it 
means  "the  men  of  the  oak  trees."  He  further  draws  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  forest  gods  and  tree 
deities  of  the  Greeks  were  called  dryades.  Some  believe  the  word  to  be  of  Teutonic  origin;  others 
ascribe  it  to  the  Welsh.  A  few  trace  it  to  the  Gaelic  druidh,  which  means  "a  wise  man"  or  "a  sorcerer." 
In  Sanskrit  the  word  dm  means  "timber." 

At  the  time  of  the  Roman  conquest,  the  Druids  were  thoroughly  ensconced  in  Britain  and  Gaul.  Their 
power  over  the  people  was  unquestioned,  and  there  were  instances  in  which  armies,  about  to  attack 
each  other,  sheathed  their  swords  when  ordered  to  do  so  by  the  white-robed  Druids.  No  undertaking 
of  great  importance  was  scatted  without  the  assistance  of  these  patriarchs,  who  stood  as  mediators 
between  the  gods  and  men.  The  Druidic  Order  is  deservedly  credited  with  having  had  a  deep 
understanding  of  Nature  and  her  laws.  The  Encyclopaedia  Britannica  states  that  geography,  physical 
science,  natural  theology,  and  astrology  were  their  favorite  studies.  The  Druids  had  a  fundamental 
knowledge  of  medicine,  especially  the  use  of  herbs  and  simples.  Crude  surgical  instruments  also  have 
been  found  in  England  and  Ireland.  An  odd  treatise  on  early  British  medicine  states  that  every 
practitioner  was  expected  to  have  a  garden  or  back  yard  for  the  growing  of  certain  herbs  necessary  to 
his  profession.  Eliphas  Levi,  the  celebrated  transcendentalist,  makes  the  following  significant 

"The  Druids  were  priests  and  physicians,  curing  by  magnetism  and  charging  amylets  with  their  fluidic 
influence.  Their  universal  remedies  were  mistletoe  and  serpents'  eggs,  because  these  substances 
attract  the  astral  light  in  a  special  manner.  The  solemnity  with  which  mistletoe  was  cut  down  drew 
upon  this  plant  the  popular  confidence  and  rendered  it  powerfully  magnetic.  *  *  *  The  progress  of 
magnetism  will  some  day  reveal  to  us  the  absorbing  properties  of  mistletoe.  We  shall  then  understand 
the  secret  of  those  spongy  growths  which  drew  the  unused  virtues  of  plants  and  become  surcharged 
with  tinctures  and  savors.  Mushrooms,  truffles,  gall  on  trees,  and  the  different  kinds  of  mistletoe  will 
be  employed  with  understanding  by  a  medical  science,  which  will  be  new  because  it  is  old  *  *  *  but 
one  must  not  move  quicker  than  science,  which  recedes  that  it  may  advance  the  further. "  (See  The 
History  of  Magic.) 

Not  only  was  the  mistletoe  sacred  as  symbolic  of  the  universal  medicine,  or  panacea,  but  also  because 
of  the  fact  that  it  grew  upon  the  oak  tree.  Through  the  symbol  of  the  oak,  the  Druids  worshiped  the 
Supreme  Deity;  therefore,  anything  growing  upon  that  tree  was  sacred  to  Him.  At  certain  seasons, 
according  to  the  positions  of  the  sun,  moon,  and  stars,  the  Arch-Druid  climbed  the  oak  tree  and  cut 
the  mistletoe  with  a  golden  sickle  consecrated  for  that  service.  The  parasitic  growth  was  caught  in 
white  cloths  provided  for  the  purpose,  lest  it  touch  the  earth  and  be  polluted  by  terrestrial  vibrations. 
Usually  a  sacrifice  of  a  white  bull  was  made  under  the  tree. 

The  Druids  were  initiates  of  a  secret  school  that  existed  in  their  midst.  This  school,  which  closely 
resembled  the  Bacchic  and  Eleusinian  Mysteries  of  Greece  or  the  Egyptian  rites  of  Isis  and  Osiris,  is 
justly  designated  the  Druidic  Mysteries.  There  has  been  much  speculation  concerning  the  secret 

wisdom  that  the  Druids  claimed  to  possess.  Their  secret  teachings  were  never  written,  but  were 
communicated  orally  to  specially  prepared  candidates.  Robert  Brown,  32°,  is  of  the  opinion  that  the 
British  priests  secured  their  information  from  Tyrian  and  Phoenician  navigators  who,  thousands  of 
years  before  the  Christian  Era,  established  colonies  in  Britain  and  Gaul  while  searching  for  tin. 
Thomas  Maurice,  in  his  Indian  Antiquities,  discourses  at  length  on  Phcenician,  Carthaginian,  and 
Greek  expeditions  to  the  British  Isles  for  the  purpose  of  procuring  tin.  Others  are  of  the  opinion  that 
the  Mysteries  as  celebrated  by  the  Druids  were  of  Oriental  origin,  possibly  Buddhistic. 

The  proximity  of  the  British  Isles  to  the  lost  Atlantis  may  account  for  the  sun  worship  which  plays  an 
important  part  in  the  rituals  of  Druidism.  According  to  Artemidorus,  Ceres  and  Persephone  were 
worshiped  on  an  island  close  to  Britain  with  rites  and  ceremonies  similar  to  those  of  Samothrace. 
There  is  no  doubt  that  the  Druidic  Pantheon  includes  a  large  number  of  Greek  and  Roman  deities. 
This  greatly  amazed  Caesar  during  his  conquest  of  Britain  and  Gaul,  and  caused  him  to  affirm  that 
these  tribes  adored  Mercury,  Apollo,  Mars,  and  Jupiter,  in  a  manner  similar  to  that  of  the  Latin 
countries.  It  is  almost  certain  that  the  Druidic  Mysteries  were  not  indigenous  to  Britain  or  Gaul,  but 
migrated  from  one  of  the  more  ancient  civilizations. 

The  school  of  the  Druids  was  divided  into  three  distinct  parts,  and  the  secret  teachings  embodied 
therein  are  practically  the  same  as  the  mysteries  concealed  under  the  allegories  of  Blue  Lodge 
Masonry.  The  lowest  of  the  three  divisions  was  that  of  Ovate  (Ovydd).  This  was  an  honorary  degree, 
requiring  no  special  purification  or  preparation.  The  Ovates  dressed  in  green,  the  Druidic  color  of 
learning,  and  were  expected  to  know  something  about  medicine,  astronomy,  poetry  if  possible,  and 
sometimes  music.  An  Ovate  was  an  individual  admitted  to  the  Druidic  Order  because  of  his  general 
excellence  and  superior  knowledge  concerning  the  problems  of  life. 

The  second  division  was  that  of  Bard  (Beirdd).  Its  members  were  robed  in  sky-blue,  to  represent 
harmony  and  truth,  and  to  them  was  assigned  the  labor  of  memorizing,  at  least  in  part,  the  twenty 
thousand  verses  of  Druidic  sacred  poetry.  They  were  often  pictured  with  the  primitive  British  or  Irish 
harp~an  instrument  strung  with  human  hair,  and  having  as  many  strings  as  there  were  ribs  on  one 
side  of  the  human  body.  These  Bards  were  often  chosen  as  teachers  of  candidates  seeking  entrance 
into  the  Druidic  Mysteries.  Neophytes  wore  striped  robes  of  blue,  green,  and  white,  these  being  the 
three  sacred  colors  of  the  Druidic  Order. 

The  third  division  was  that  of  Druid  (Derwyddon).  Its  particular  labor  was  to  minister  to  the  religious 
needs  of  the  people.  To  reach  this  dignity,  the  candidate  must  first  become  a  Bard  Braint.  The  Druids 
always  dressed  in  white—symbolic  of  their  purity,  and  the  color  used  by  them  to  symbolize  the  sun. 

In  order  to  reach  the  exalted  position  of  Arch-Druid,  or  spiritual  head  of  the  organization,  it  was 
necessary  for  a  priest  to  pass  through  the  six  successive  degrees  of  the  Druidic  Order.  (The  members 
of  the  different  degrees  were  differentiated  by  the  colors  of  their  sashes,  for  all  of  them  wore  robes  of 
white.)  Some  writers  are  of  the  opinion  that  the  title  oi  Arch-Druid  was  hereditary,  descending  from 
father  to  son,  but  it  is  more  probable  that  the  honor  was  conferred  by  ballot  election.  Its  recipient  was 
chosen  for  his  virtues  and 


From  Wellcome's  Ancient  Cymric  Medicine. 

The  most  striking  adornment  of  the  Arch- Druid  was  the  iodhan  moron,  or  breastplate  of  judgment,  which  possessed  the 
mysterious  Power  of  strangling  any  who  made  an  untrue  statement  while  wearing  it.  Godfrey  Higgins  states  that  this 
breastplate  was  put  on  the  necks  of  witnesses  to  test  the  veracity  of  their  evidence.  The  Druidic  tiara,  or  anguinum,  its 
front  embossed  with  a  number  of  points  to  represent  the  sun's  rays,  indicated  that  the  priest  was  a  personification  of  the 
rising  sun.  On  the  front  of  his  belt  the  Arch-Druid  wore  the  liath  meisicith--a  magic  brooch,  or  buckle  in  the  center  of 
which  was  a  large  white  stone.  To  this  was  attributed  the  power  of  drawing  the  fire  of  the  gods  down  from  heaven  at  the 
priest's  command  This  specially  cut  stone  was  a  burning  glass,  by  which  the  sun's  rays  were  concentrated  to  light  the  altar 
fires.  The  Druids  also  had  other  symbolic  implements,  such  as  the  peculiarly  shaped  golden  sickle  with  which  they  cut  the 
mistletoe  from  the  oak,  and  the  coman,  or  scepter,  in  the  form  of  a  crescent,  symbolic  of  the  sixth  day  of  the  increasing 
moon  and  also  of  the  Ark  of  Noah.  An  early  initiate  of  the  Druidic  Mysteries  related  that  admission  to  their  midnight 
ceremony  was  gained  by  means  of  a  glass  boat,  called  Cwrwg  Gwydrin.  This  boat  symbolized  the  moon,  which,  floating 
upon  the  waters  of  eternity,  preserved  the  seeds  of  living  creatures  within  its  boatlike  crescent. 

p-  23 

integrity  from  the  most  learned  members  of  the  higher  Druidic  degrees. 

According  to  James  Gardner,  there  were  usually  two  Arch-Druids  in  Britain,  one  residing  on  the  Isle 
of  Anglesea  and  the  other  on  the  Isle  of  Man.  Presumably  there  were  others  in  Gaul.  These  dignitaries 
generally  carried  golden  scepters  and  were  crowned  with  wreaths  of  oak  leaves,  symbolic  of  their 
authority.  The  younger  members  of  the  Druidic  Order  were  clean-shaven  and  modestly  dressed,  but 
the  more  aged  had  long  gray  beards  and  wore  magnificent  golden  ornaments.  The  educational  system 
of  the  Druids  in  Britain  was  superior  to  that  of  their  colleagues  on  the  Continent,  and  consequently 
many  of  the  Gallic  youths  were  sent  to  the  Druidic  colleges  in  Britain  for  their  philosophical 
instruction  and  training. 

Eliphas  Levi  states  that  the  Druids  lived  in  strict  abstinence,  studied  the  natural  sciences,  preserved 
the  deepest  secrecy,  and  admitted  new  members  only  after  long  probationary  periods.  Many  of  the 
priests  of  the  order  lived  in  buildings  not  unlike  the  monasteries  of  the  modern  world.  They  were 
associated  in  groups  like  ascetics  of  the  Far  East.  Although  celibacy  was  not  demanded  of  them,  few 
married.  Many  of  the  Druids  retired  from  the  world  and  lived  as  recluses  in  caves,  in  rough-stone 

houses,  or  in  little  shacks  built  in  the  depths  of  a  forest.  Here  they  prayed  and  medicated,  emerging 
only  to  perform  their  religious  duties. 

James  Freeman  Clarke,  in  his  Ten  Great  Religions,  describes  the  beliefs  of  the  Druids  as  follows:  "The 
Druids  believed  in  three  worlds  and  in  transmigration  from  one  to  the  other:  In  a  world  above  this,  in 
which  happiness  predominated;  a  world  below,  of  misery;  and  this  present  state.  This  transmigration 
was  to  punish  and  reward  and  also  to  purify  the  soul.  In  the  present  world,  said  they,  Good  and  Evil 
are  so  exactly  balanced  that  man  has  the  utmost  freedom  and  is  able  to  choose  or  reject  either.  The 
Welsh  Triads  tell  us  there  are  three  objects  of  metempsychosis:  to  collect  into  the  soul  the  properties 
of  all  being,  to  acquire  a  knowledge  of  all  things,  and  to  get  power  to  conquer  evil.  There  are  also,  they 
say,  three  kinds  of  knowledge:  knowledge  of  the  nature  of  each  thing,  of  its  cause,  and  its  influence. 
There  are  three  things  which  continually  grow  less:  darkness,  falsehood,  and  death.  There  are  three 
which  constantly  increase:  light,  life,  and  truth." 

Like  nearly  all  schools  of  the  Mysteries,  the  teachings  of  the  Druids  were  divided  into  two  distinct 
sections.  The  simpler,  a  moral  code,  was  taught  to  all  the  people,  while  the  deeper,  esoteric  doctrine 
was  given  only  to  initiated  priests.  To  be  admitted  to  the  order,  a  candidate  was  required  to  be  of  good 
family  and  of  high  moral  character.  No  important  secrets  were  intrusted  to  him  until  he  had  been 
tempted  in  many  ways  and  his  strength  of  character  severely  tried.  The  Druids  taught  the  people  of 
Britain  and  Gaul  concerning  the  immortality  of  the  soul.  They  believed  in  transmigration  and 
apparently  in  reincarnation.  They  borrowed  in  one  life,  promising  to  pay  back  in  the  next.  They 
believed  in  a  purgatorial  type  of  hell  where  they  would  be  purged  of  their  sins,  afterward  passing  on  to 
the  happiness  of  unity  with  the  gods.  The  Druids  taught  that  all  men  would  be  saved,  but  that  some 
must  return  to  earth  many  times  to  learn  the  lessons  of  human  life  and  to  overcome  the  inherent  evil 
of  their  own  natures. 

Before  a  candidate  was  intrusted  with  the  secret  doctrines  of  the  Druids,  he  was  bound  with  a  vow  of 
secrecy.  These  doctrines  were  imparted  only  in  the  depths  of  forests  and  in  the  darkness  of  caves.  In 
these  places,  far  from  the  haunts  of  men,  the  neophyte  was  instructed  concerning  the  creation  of  the 
universe,  the  personalities  of  the  gods,  the  laws  of  Nature,  the  secrets  of  occult  medicine,  the 
mysteries  of  the  celestial  bodies,  and  the  rudiments  of  magic  and  sorcery.  The  Druids  had  a  great 
number  of  feast  days.  The  new  and  full  moon  and  the  sixth  day  of  the  moon  were  sacred  periods.  It  is 
believed  that  initiations  took  place  only  at  the  two  solstices  and  the  two  equinoxes.  At  dawn  of  the 
25th  day  of  December,  the  birth  of  the  Sun  God  was  celebrated. 

The  secret  teachings  of  the  Druids  are  said  by  some  to  be  tinctured  with  Pythagorean  philosophy.  The 
Druids  had  a  Madonna,  or  Virgin  Mother,  with  a  Child  in  her  arms,  who  was  sacred  to  their  Mysteries; 
and  their  Sun  God  was  resurrected  at  the  time  of  the  year  corresponding  to  that  at  which  modern 
Christians  celebrate  Easter. 

Both  the  cross  and  the  serpent  were  sacred  to  the  Druids,  who  made  the  former  by  cutting  off  all  the 
branches  of  an  oak  tree  and  fastening  one  of  them  to  the  main  trunk  in  the  form  of  the  letter  T.  This 
oaken  cross  became  symbolic  of  their  superior  Deity.  They  also  worshiped  the  sun,  moon,  and  stars. 
The  moon  received  their  special  veneration.  Caesar  stated  that  Mercury  was  one  of  the  chief  deities  of 
the  Gauls.  The  Druids  are  believed  to  have  worshiped  Mercury  under  the  similitude  of  a  stone  cube. 
They  also  had  great  veneration  for  the  Nature  spirits  (fairies,  gnomes,  and  undines),  little  creatures  of 
the  forests  and  rivers  to  whom  many  offerings  were  made.  Describing  the  temples  of  the  Druids, 
Charles  Heckethorn,  in  The  Secret  Societies  of  All  Ages  &  Countries,  says: 

"Their  temples  wherein  the  sacred  fire  was  preserved  were  generally  situate  on  eminences  and  in 
dense  groves  of  oak,  and  assumed  various  forms—circular,  because  a  circle  was  the  emblem  of  the 
universe;  oval,  in  allusion  to  the  mundane  egg,  from  which  issued,  according  to  the  traditions  of  many 
nations,  the  universe,  or,  according  to  others,  our  first  parents;  serpentine,  because  a  serpent  was  the 

symbol  of  Hu,  the  Dniidic  Osiris;  cruciform,  because  a  cross  is  an  emblem  of  regeneration;  or  winged, 
to  represent  the  motion  of  the  Divine  Spirit.  *  *  *  Their  chief  deities  were  reducible  to  two~a  male  and 
a  female,  the  great  father  and  mother~Hu  and  Ceridwen,  distinguished  by  the  same  characteristics  as 
belong  to  Osiris  and  Isis,  Bacchus  and  Ceres,  or  any  other  supreme  god  and  goddess  representing  the 
two  principles  of  all  Being." 

Godfrey  Higgins  states  that  Hu,  the  Mighty,  regarded  as  the  first  settler  of  Britain,  came  from  a  place 
which  the  Welsh  Triads  call  the  Summer  Country,  the  present  site  of  Constantinople.  Albert  Pike  says 
that  the  Lost  Word  of  Masonry  is  concealed  in  the  name  of  the  Druid  god  Hu.  The  meager 
information  extant  concerning  the  secret  initiations  of  the  Druids  indicates  a  decided  similarity 
between  their  Mystery  school  and  the  schools  of  Greece  and  Egypt.  Hu,  the  Sun  God,  was  murdered 
and,  after  a  number  of  strange  ordeals  and  mystic  rituals,  was  restored  to  life. 

There  were  three  degrees  of  the  Druidic  Mysteries,  but  few  successfully  passed  them  all.  The 
candidate  was  buried  in  a  coffin,  as  symbolic  of  the  death  of  the  Sun  God.  The  supreme  test,  however, 
was  being  sent  out  to  sea  in  an  open  boat.  While  undergoing  this  ordeal,  many  lost  their  lives.  Taliesin, 
an  ancient  scholar,  who  passed  through  the  Mysteries,  describes  the  initiation  of  the  open  boat  in 
Faber's  Pagan  Idolatry.  The  few  who  passed  this  third  degree  were  said  to  have  been  "born  again," 
and  were  instructed  in  the  secret  and  hidden  truths  which  the  Druid  priests  had  preserved  from 
antiquity.  From  these  initiates  were  chosen  many  of  the  dignitaries  of  the  British  religious  and 
political  world.  (For  further  details,  see  Faber's  Pagan  Idolatry,  Albert  Pike's  Morals  and  Dogma, 
and  Godfrey  Higgins'  Celtic  Druids.) 


When  the  Persian  Mysteries  immigrated  into  Southern  Europe,  they  were  quickly  assimilated  by  the 
Latin  mind.  The  cult  grew  rapidly,  especially  among  the  Roman  soldiery,  and  during  the  Roman  wars 
of  conquest  the  teachings  were  carried  by  the  legionaries  to  nearly  all  parts  of  Europe.  So  powerful 
did  the  cult  of  Mithras  become  that  at  least  one  Roman  Emperor  was  initiated  into  the  order,  which 
met  in  caverns  under  the  city  of  Rome.  Concerning  the  spread  of  this  Mystery  school  through 
different  parts  of  Europe,  C.  W.  King,  in  his  Gnostics  and  Their  Remains,  says: 

"Mithraic  bas-reliefs  cut  on  the  faces  of  rocks  or  on  stone  tablets  still  abound  in  the  countries 
formerly  the  western  provinces  of  the  Roman  Empire;  many  exist  in  Germany,  still  more  in  France, 
and  in  this  island  (Britain)  they  have  often  been  discovered  on  the  line  of  the  Picts'  Wall  and  the 
noted  one  at  Bath." 

Alexander  Wilder,  in  his  Philosophy  and  Ethics  of  the  Zoroasters,  states  that  Mithras  is  the  Zend  title 
for  the  sun,  and  he  is  supposed  to  dwell  within  that  shining  orb.  Mithras  has  a  male  and  a  female 
aspect,  though  not  himself  androgynous.  As  Mithras,  he  is  the  ford  of  the  sun,  powerful  and  radiant, 
and  most  magnificent  of  the  Yazatas  (Izads,  or  Genii,  of  the  sun).  As  Mithra,  this  deity  represents  the 
feminine  principle;  the  mundane  universe  is  recognized  as  her  symbol.  She  represents  Nature  as 
receptive  and  terrestrial,  and  as  fruitful  only  when  bathed  in  the  glory  of  the  solar  orb.  The  Mithraic 
cult  is  a  simplification  of  the  more  elaborate  teachings  of  Zarathustra  (Zoroaster),  the  Persian  fire 


From  Maurice's  Indian  Antiquities. 

The  Druid  temples  of  places  of  religious  worship  were  not  patterned  after  those  of  other  nations.  Most  of  their  ceremonies 
were  performed  at  night,  either  in  thick  groves  of  oak  trees  or  around  open-air  altars  built  of  great  uncut  stones.  How 
these  masses  of  rock  were  moved  ahs  not  been  satisfactorily  explained.  The  most  famous  of  their  altars,  a  great  stone  ring 
of  rocks,  is  Stonehenge,  in  Southwestern  England.  This  structure,  laid  out  on  an  astronomical  basis,  still  stands,  a  wonder 
of  antiquity. 

p.  24 

According  to  the  Persians,  there  coexisted  in  eternity  two  principles.  The  first  of  these,  Ahura-Mazda, 
or  Ormuzd,  was  the  Spirit  of  Good.  From  Ormuzd  came  forth  a  number  of  hierarchies  of  good  and 
beautiful  spirits  (angels  and  archangels).  The  second  of  these  eternally  existing  principles  was  called 
Ahriman.  He  was  also  a  pure  and  beautiful  spirit,  but  he  later  rebelled  against  Ormuzd,  being  jealous 
of  his  power.  This  did  not  occur,  however,  until  after  Ormuzd  had  created  light,  for  previously 
Ahriman  had  not  been  conscious  of  the  existence  of  Ormuzd.  Because  of  his  jealousy  and  rebellion, 
Ahriman  became  the  Spirit  of  Evil.  From  himself  he  individualized  a  host  of  destructive  creatures  to 
injure  Ormuzd. 

When  Ormuzd  created  the  earth,  Ahriman  entered  into  its  grosser  elements.  Whenever  Ormuzd  did  a 
good  deed,  Ahriman  placed  the  principle  of  evil  within  it.  At  last  when  Ormuzd  created  the  human 
race,  Ahriman  became  incarnate  in  the  lower  nature  of  man  so  that  in  each  personality  the  Spirit  of 
Good  and  the  Spirit  of  Evil  struggle  for  control.  For  3,000  years  Ormuzd  ruled  the  celestial  worlds 
with  light  and  goodness.  Then  he  created  man.  For  another  3,000  years  he  ruled  man  with  wisdom, 
and  integrity.  Then  the  power  of  Ahriman  began,  and  the  struggle  for  the  soul  of  man  continues 
through  the  next  period  of  3,000  years.  During  the  fourth  period  of  3,000  years,  the  power  of 
Ahriman  will  be  destroyed.  Good  will  return  to  the  world  again,  evil  and  death  will  be  vanquished, 
and  at  last  the  Spirit  of  Evil  will  bow  humbly  before  the  throne  of  Ormuzd.  While  Ormuzd  and 
Ahriman  are  struggling  for  control  of  the  human  soul  and  for  supremacy  in  Nature,  Mithras,  God  of 
Intelligence,  stands  as  mediator  between  the  two.  Many  authors  have  noted  the  similarity  between 
mercury  and  Mithras.  As  the  chemical  mercury  acts  as  a  solvent  (according  to  alchemists),  so  Mithras 
seeks  to  harmonize  the  two  celestial  opposites. 

There  are  many  points  of  resemblance  between  Christianity  and  the  cult  of  Mithras.  One  of  the 
reasons  for  this  probably  is  that  the  Persian  mystics  invaded  Italy  during  the  first  century  after  Christ 

and  the  early  history  of  both  cults  was  closely  interwoven.  The  Encyclopaedia  Britannica  makes  the 
following  statement  concerning  the  Mithraic  and  Christian  Mysteries: 

"The  fraternal  and  democratic  spirit  of  the  first  communities,  and  their  humble  origin;  the 
identification  of  the  object  of  adoration  with  light  and  the  sun;  the  legends  of  the  shepherds  with  their 
gifts  and  adoration,  the  flood,  and  the  ark;  the  representation  in  art  of  the  fiery  chariot,  the  drawing  of 
water  from  the  rock;  the  use  of  bell  and  candle,  holy  water  and  the  communion;  the  sanctification  of 
Sunday  and  of  the  25th  of  December;  the  insistence  on  moral  conduct,  the  emphasis  placed  on 
abstinence  and  self-control;  the  doctrine  of  heaven  and  hell,  of  primitive  revelation,  of  the  mediation 
of  the  Logos  emanating  from  the  divine,  the  atoning  sacrifice,  the  constant  warfare  between  good  and 
evil  and  the  final  triumph  of  the  former,  the  immortality  of  the  soul,  the  last  judgment,  the 
resurrection  of  the  flesh  and  the  fiery  destruction  of  the  universe— [these]  are  some  of  the 
resemblances  which,  whether  real  or  only  apparent,  enabled  Mithraism  to  prolong  its  resistance  to 

The  rites  of  Mithras  were  performed  in  caves.  Porphyry,  in  his  Cave  of  the  Nymphs,  states  that 
Zarathustra  (Zoroaster)  was  the  first  to  consecrate  a  cave  to  the  worship  of  God,  because  a  cavern  was 
symbolic  of  the  earth,  or  the  lower  world  of  darkness.  John  P.  Lundy,  in  his  Monumental  Christianity, 
describes  the  cave  of  Mithras  as  follows: 

"But  this  cave  was  adorned  with  the  signs  of  the  zodiac.  Cancer  and  Capricorn.  The  summer  and 
winter  solstices  were  chiefly  conspicuous,  as  the  gates  of  souls  descending  into  this  life,  or  passing  out 
of  it  in  their  ascent  to  the  Gods;  Cancer  being  the  gate  of  descent,  and  Capricorn  of  ascent.  These  are 
the  two  avenues  of  the  immortals  passing  up  and  down  from  earth  to  heaven,  and  from  heaven  to 

The  so-called  chair  of  St.  Peter,  in  Rome,  was  believed  to  have  been  used  in  one  of  the  pagan 
Mysteries,  possibly  that  of  Mithras,  in  whose  subterranean  grottoes  the  votaries  of  the  Christian 
Mysteries  met  in  the  early  days  of  their  faith.  In  Anacalypsis,  Godfrey  Higgins  writes  that  in  1662, 
while  cleaning  this  sacred  chair  of  Bar-Jonas,  the  Twelve  Labors  of  Hercules  were  discovered  upon  it, 
and  that  later  the  French  discovered  upon  the  same  chair  the  Mohammedan  confession  of  faith, 
written  in  Arabic. 

Initiation  into  the  rites  of  Mithras,  like  initiation  into  many  other  ancient  schools  of  philosophy, 
apparently  consisted  of  three  important  degrees.  Preparation  for  these  degrees  consisted  of  self- 
purification,  the  building  up  of  the  intellectual  powers,  and  the  control  of  the  animal  nature.  In  the 
first  degree  the  candidate  was  given  a  crown  upon  the  point  of  a  sword  and  instructed  in  the 
mysteries  of  Mithras'  hidden  power.  Probably  he  was  taught  that  the  golden  crown  represented  his 
own  spiritual  nature,  which  must  be  objectified  and  unfolded  before  he  could  truly  glorify  Mithras; 
for  Mithras  was  his  own  soul,  standing  as  mediator  between  Ormuzd,  his  spirit,  and  Ahriman,  his 
animal  nature.  In  the  second  degree  he  was  given  the  armor  of  intelligence  and  purity  and  sent  into 
the  darkness  of  subterranean  pits  to  fight  the  beasts  of  lust,  passion,  and  degeneracy.  In  the  third 
degree  he  was  given  a  cape,  upon  which  were  drawn  or  woven  the  signs  of  the  zodiac  and  other 
astronomical  symbols.  After  his  initiations  were  over,  he  was  hailed  as  one  who  had  risen  from  the 
dead,  was  instructed  in  the  secret  teachings  of  the  Persian  mystics,  and  became  a  full-fledged  member 
of  the  order.  Candidates  who  successfully  passed  the  Mithraic  initiations  were  called  Lions  and  were 
marked  upon  their  foreheads  with  the  Egyptian  cross.  Mithras  himself  is  often  pictured  with  the  head 
of  a  lion  and  two  pairs  of  wings.  Throughout  the  entire  ritual  were  repeated  references  to  the  birth  of 
Mithras  as  the  Sun  God,  his  sacrifice  for  man,  his  death  that  men  might  have  eternal  life,  and  lastly, 
his  resurrection  and  the  saving  of  all  humanity  by  his  intercession  before  the  throne  of  Ormuzd.  (See 

While  the  cult  of  Mithras  did  not  reach  the  philosophic  heights  attained  by  Zarathustra,  its  effect 

upon  the  civilization  of  the  Western  world  was  far-reaching,  for  at  one  time  nearly  all  Europe  was 
converted  to  its  doctrines.  Rome,  in  her  intercourse  with  other  nations,  inoculated  them  with  her 
religious  principles;  and  many  later  institutions  have  exhibited  Mithraic  culture.  The  reference  to  the 
"Lion"  and  the  "Grip  of  the  Lion's  Paw"  in  the  Master  Mason's  degree  have  a  strong  Mithraic  tinge 
and  may  easily  have  originated  from  this  cult.  A  ladder  of  seven  rungs  appears  in  the  Mithraic 
initiation.  Faber  is  of  the  opinion  that  this  ladder  was  originally  a  pyramid  of  seven  steps.  It  is 
possible  that  the  Masonic  ladder  with  seven  rungs  had  its  origin  in  this  Mithraic  symbol.  Women 
were  never  permitted  to  enter  the  Mithraic  Order,  but  children  of  the  male  sex  were  initiates  long 
before  they  reached  maturity.  The  refusal  to  permit  women  to  join  the  Masonic  Order  may  be  based 
on  the  esoteric  reason  given  in  the  secret  instructions  of  the  Mithraics.  This  cult  is  another  excellent 
example  of  those  secret  societies  whose  legends  are  largely  symbolic  representations  of  the  sun  and 
his  journey  through  the  houses  of  the  heavens.  Mithras,  rising  from  a  stone,  is  merely  the  sun  rising 
over  the  horizon,  or,  as  the  ancients  supposed,  out  of  the  horizon,  at  the  vernal  equinox. 

John  O'Neill  disputes  the  theory  that  Mithras  was  intended  as  a  solar  deity.  In  The  Night  of  the  Gods 
he  writes:  "The  Avestan  Mithra,  the  yazata  of  light,  has  '10,000  eyes,  high,  with  full  knowledge 
(perethuvaedayana),  strong,  sleepless  and  ever  awake  (jaghaurvaunghem).'The  supreme  god  Ahura 
Mazda  also  has  one  Eye,  or  else  it  is  said  that  'with  his  eyes,  the  sun,  moon  and  stars,  he  sees 
everything.'  The  theory  that  Mithra  was  originally  a  title  of  the  supreme  heavens-god~putting  the 
sun  out  of  court—is  the  only  one  that  answers  all  requirements.  It  will  be  evident  that  here  we  have 
origins  in  abundance  for  the  Freemason's  Eye  and  'its  nunquam  dormio.'"  The  reader  must  nor 
confuse  the  Persian  Mithra  with  the  Vedic  Mitra.  According  to  Alexander  Wilder,  "The  Mithraic  rites 
superseded  the  Mysteries  of  Bacchus,  and  became  the  foundation  of  the  Gnostic  system,  which  for 
many  centuries  prevailed  in  Asia,  Egypt,  and  even  the  remote  West." 



From  Lundy's  Monumental  Christianity. 

The  most  famous  sculpturings  and  reliefs  of  this  prototokos  show  Mithras  kneehng  upon  the  recumbent  form  of  a  great 
bull,  into  whose  throat  he  is  driving  a  sword.  The  slaying  of  the  bull  signifies  that  the  rays  of  the  sun,  symbolized  by  the 
sword,  release  at  the  vernal  equinox  the  vital  essences  of  the  earth—the  blood  of  the  bull—which,  pouring  from  the  wound 
made  by  the  Sun  God,  fertilize  the  seeds  of  living  things.  Dogs  were  held  sacred  to  the  cult  of  Mithras,  being  symbolic  of 
sincerity  and  trustworthiness.  The  Mithraics  used  the  serpent  a  an  emblem  of  Ahriman,  the  Spirit  of  Evil,  and  water  rats 
were  held  sacred  to  him.  The  bull  is  esoterically  the  Constellation  of  Taurus;  the  serpent,  its  opposite  in  the  zodiac, 

Scorpio;  the  sun,  Mithras,  entering  into  the  side  of  the  bull,  slays  the  celestial  creature  and  nourishes  the  universe  with  its 


From  Montfaucon's  Antiquities 

Mithras  was  born  out  of  a  rock,  which,  breaking  open,  permitted  him  to  emerge.  This  occurred  in  the  darkness  of  a 
subterranean  chamber.  The  Church  of  the  Nativity  at  Bethlehem  confirms  the  theory  that  Jesus  was  born  in  a  grotto,  or 
cave.  According  to  Dupuis,  Mithras  was  put  to  death  by  crucifixion  and  rose  again  on  the  third  day. 


The  Ancient  Mysteries  and  Secret  Societies 

Part  Two 

THE  entire  history  of  Christian  and  pagan  Gnosticism  is  shrouded  in  the  deepest  mystery  and 
obscurity;  for,  while  the  Gnostics  were  undoubtedly  prolific  writers,  little  of  their  literature  has 
survived.  They  brought  down  upon  themselves  the  animosity  of  the  early  Christian  Church,  and  when 
this  institution  reached  its  position  of  world  power  it  destroyed  all  available  records  of  the  Gnostic 
cultus.  The  name  Gnostic  means  wisdom,  or  knowledge,  and  is  derived  from  the  Greek  Gnosis.  The 
members  of  the  order  claimed  to  be  familiar  with  the  secret  doctrines  of  early  Christianity.  They 
interpreted  the  Christian  Mysteries  according  to  pagan  symbolism.  Their  secret  information  and 
philosophic  tenets  they  concealed  from  the  profane  and  taught  to  a  small  group  only  of  especially 
initiated  persons. 

Simon  Magus,  the  magician  of  New  Testament  fame,  is  often  supposed  to  have  been  the  founder  of 
Gnosticism.  If  this  be  true,  the  sect  was  formed  during  the  century  after  Christ  and  is  probably  the 
first  of  the  many  branches  which  have  sprung  from  the  main  trunk  of  Christianity.  Everything  with 
which  the  enthusiasts  of  the  early  Christian  Church  might  not  agree  they  declared  to  be  inspired  by 
the  Devil.  That  Simon  Magus  had  mysterious  and  supernatural  powers  is  conceded  even  by  his 
enemies,  but  they  maintained  that  these  powers  were  lent  to  him  by  the  infernal  spirits  and  furies 
which  they  asserted  were  his  ever  present  companions.  Undoubtedly  the  most  interesting  legend 
concerning  Simon  is  that  which  tells  of  his  theosophic  contests  with  the  Apostle  Peter  while  the  two 
were  promulgating  their  differing  doctrines  in  Rome.  According  to  the  story  that  the  Church  Fathers 
have  preserved,  Simon  was  to  prove  his  spiritual  superiority  by  ascending  to  heaven  in  a  chariot  of 
fire.  He  was  actually  picked  up  and  carried  many  feet  into  the  air  by  invisible  powers.  When  St.  Peter 
saw  this,  he  cried  out  in  a  loud  voice,  ordering  the  demons  (spirits  of  the  air)  to  release  their  hold 
upon  the  magician.  The  evil  spirits,  when  so  ordered  by  the  great  saint,  were  forced  to  obey.  Simon 
fell  a  great  distance  and  was  killed,  which  decisively  proved  the  superiority  of  the  Christian  powers. 
This  story  is  undoubtedly  manufactured  out  of  whole  cloth,  as  it  is  only  one  out  of  many  accounts 
concerning  his  death,  few  of  which  agree.  As  more  and  more  evidence  is  being  amassed  to  the  effect 
that  St,  Peter  was  never  in  Rome,  its  last  possible  vestige  of  authenticity  is  rapidly  being  dissipated. 

That  Simon  was  a  philosopher  there  is  no  doubt,  for  wherever  his  exact  words  are  preserved  his 
synthetic  and  transcending  thoughts  are  beautifully  expressed.  The  principles  of  Gnosticism  are  well 
described  in  the  following  verbatim  statement  by  him,  supposed  to  have  been  preserved  by 
Hippolytus:  "To  you,  therefore,  I  say  what  I  say,  and  write  what  I  write.  And  the  writing  is  this.  Of  the 
universal  vEons  [periods,  planes,  or  cycles  of  creative  and  created  life  in  substance  and  space,  celestial 
creatures]  there  are  two  shoots,  without  beginning  or  end,  springing  from  one  Root,  which  is  the 
power  invisible,  inapprehensible  silence  [Bythos].  Of  these  shoots  one  is  manifested  from  above, 
which  is  the  Great  Power,  the  Universal  Mind  ordering  all  things,  male,  and  the  other,  [is  manifested] 
from  below,  the  Great  Thought,  female,  producing  all  things.  Hence  pairing  with  each  other,  they 
unite  and  manifest  the  Middle  Distance,  incomprehensible  Air,  without  beginning  or  end.  In  this  is 
the  Father  Who  sustains  all  things,  and  nourishes  those  things  which  have  a  beginning  and  end."  (See 
Simon  Magus,  by  G.  R.  S.  Mead.)  By  this  we  are  to  understand  that  manifestation  is  the  result  of  a 
positive  and  a  negative  principle,  one  acting  upon  the  other,  and  it  takes  place  in  the  middle  plane,  or 
point  of  equilibrium,  called  the  pleroma.  This  pleroma  is  a  peculiar  substance  produced  out  of  the 
blending  of  the  spiritual  and  material  aeons.  Out  of  the  pleroma  was  individualized  the  Demiurgus, 
the  immortal  mortal,  to  whom  we  are  responsible  for  our  physical  existence  and  the  suffering  we 
must  go  through  in  connection  with  it.  In  the  Gnostic  system,  three  pairs  of  opposites,  called  Syzygies, 
emanated  from  the  Eternal  One.  These,  with  Himself,  make  the  total  of  seven.  The  six  (three  pairs) 

iEons  (living,  divine  principles)  were  described  by  Simon  in  the  Philosophumena  in  the  following 
manner:  The  first  two  were  Mind  (Nous)  and  Thought  (Epinoia).  Then  came  Voice  (Phone)  and  its 
opposite,  Name  (Onoma),  and  lastly.  Reason  (Logismos)  and  Reflection  (Enthumesis).  From  these 
primordial  six,  united  with  the  Eternal  Flame,  came  forth  the  vEons  (Angels)  who  formed  the  lower 
worlds  through  the  direction  of  the  Demiurgus.  (See  the  works  of  H.  P.  Blavatsky.)  How  this  first 
Gnosticism  of  Simon  Magus  and  Menander,  his  disciple,  was  amplified,  and  frequently  distorted,  by 
later  adherents  to  the  cult  must  now  be  considered. 

The  School  of  Gnosticism  was  divided  into  two  major  parts,  commonly  called  the  Syrian  Cult  and  the 
Alexandrian  Cult.  These  schools  agreed  in  essentials,  but  the  latter  division  was  more  inclined  to  be 
pantheistic,  while  the  former  was  dualistic.  While  the  Syrian  cult  was  largely  Simonian,  the 
Alexandrian  School  was  the  outgrowth  of  the  philosophical  deductions  of  a  clever  Egyptian  Christian, 
Basilides  by  name,  who  claimed  to  have  received  his  instructions  from  the  Apostle  Matthew.  Like 
Simon  Magus,  he  was  an  emanationist,  with  Neo-Platonic  inclinations.  In  fact,  the  entire  Gnostic 
Mystery  is  based  upon  the  hypothesis  of  emanations  as  being  the  logical  connection  between  the 
irreconcilable  opposites  Absolute  Spirit  and  Absolute  Substance,  which  the  Gnostics  believed  to  have 
been  coexistent  in  Eternity.  Some  assert  that  Basilides  was  the  true  founder  of  Gnosticism,  but  there 
is  much  evidence  to  the  effect  that  Simon  Magus  laid  down  its  fundamental  principles  in  the 
preceding  century. 

The  Alexandrian  Basilides  inculcated  Egyptian  Hermeticism,  Oriental  occultism,  Chaldean  astrology, 
and  Persian  philosophy  in  his  followers,  and  in  his  doctrines  sought  to  unite  the  schools  of  early 
Christianity  with  the  ancient  pagan  Mysteries.  To  him  is  attributed  the  formulation  of  that  peculiar 
concept  of  the  Deity  which  carries  the  name  of  Abraxas.  In  discussing  the  original  meaning  of  this 
word,  Godfrey  Higgins,  in  his  Celtic  Druids,  has  demonstrated  that  the  numerological  powers  of  the 
letters  forming  the  word  Abraxas  when  added  together  result  in  the  sum  of  365.  The  same  author  also 
notes  that  the  name  Mithras  when  treated  in  a  similar  manner  has  the  same  numerical  value. 
Basilides  caught  that  the 


From  the  Nuremberg  Chronicle. 

Simon  Magus,  having  called  upon  the  Spirits  of  the  Air,  is  here  shown  being  picked  up  by  the  demons.  St.  Peter  demands 
that  the  evil  genii  release  their  hold  upon  the  magician.  The  demons  are  forced  to  comply  and  Simon  Magus  is  killed  by 
the  fall. 

p.  26 

powers  of  the  universe  were  divided  into  365  ^ons,  or  spiritual  cycles,  and  that  the  sum  of  all  these 
together  was  the  Supreme  Father,  and  to  Him  he  gave  the  Qabbalistical  appellation  Abraxas,  as  being 
symbolical,  numerologically,  of  His  divine  powers,  attributes,  and  emanations.  Abraxas  is  usually 
symbolized  as  a  composite  creature,  with  the  body  of  a  human  being  and  the  head  of  a  rooster,  and 
with  each  of  his  legs  ending  in  a  serpent.  C.  W.  King,  in  his  Gnostics  and  Their  Remains,  gives  the 
following  concise  description  of  the  Gnostic  philosophy  of  Basilides,  quoting  from  the  writings  of  the 
early  Christian  bishop  and  martyr,  St.  Irengeus:  "He  asserted  that  God,  the  uncreated,  eternal  Father, 
had  first  brought  forth  Nous,  or  Mind;  this  the  Logos,  Word;  this  again  Phronesis,  Intelligence;  from 
Phronesis  sprung  Sophia,  Wisdom,  and  Dynamis,  Strength." 

In  describing  Abraxas,  C.  W.  King  says:  "Bellermann  considers  the  composite  image,  inscribed  with 
the  actual  name  Abraxas,  to  be  a  Gnostic  Pantheos,  representing  the  Supreme  Being,  with  the  Five 
Emanations  marked  out  by  appropriate  symbols.  From  the  human  body,  the  usual  form  assigned  to 
the  Deity,  spring  the  two  supporters,  Nous  and  Logos,  expressed  in  the  serpents,  symbols  of  the  inner 
senses,  and  the  quickening  understanding;  on  which  account  the  Greeks  had  made  the  serpent  the 
attribute  of  Pallas.  His  head—that  of  a  cock—represents  Phronesis,  that  bird  being  the  emblem  of 
foresight  and  of  vigilance.  His  two  arms  hold  the  symbols  of  Sophia  and  Dynamis:  the  shield  of 
Wisdom  and  the  whip  of  Power." 

The  Gnostics  were  divided  in  their  opinions  concerning  the  Demiurgus,  or  creator  of  the  lower  worlds. 
He  established  the  terrestrial  universe  with  the  aid  of  six  sons,  or  emanations  (possibly  the  planetary 
Angels)  which  He  formed  out  of,  and  yet  within.  Himself.  As  stated  before,  the  Demiurgus  was 
individualized  as  the  lowest  creation  out  of  the  substance  called  p/eroma.  One  group  of  the  Gnostics 
was  of  the  opinion  that  the  Demiurgus  was  the  cause  of  all  misery  and  was  an  evil  creature,  who  by 
building  this  lower  world  had  separated  the  souls  of  men  from  truth  by  encasing  them  in  mortal 
vehicles.  The  other  sect  viewed  the  Demiurgus  as  being  divinely  inspired  and  merely  fulfilling  the 
dictates  of  the  invisible  Lord.  Some  Gnostics  were  of  the  opinion  that  the  Jewish  God,  Jehovah,  was 
the  Demiurgus.  This  concept,  under  a  slightly  different  name,  apparently  influenced  mediaeval 
Rosicrucianism,  which  viewed  Jehovah  as  the  Lord  of  the  material  universe  rather  than  as  the 
Supreme  Deity.  Mythology  abounds  with  the  stories  of  gods  who  partook  of  both  celestial  and 
terrestrial  natures.  Odin,  of  Scandinavia,  is  a  good  example  of  a  deity  subject  to  mortality,  bowing 
before  the  laws  of  Nature  and  yet  being,  in  certain  senses  at  least,  a  Supreme  Deity. 

The  Gnostic  vieM^oint  concerning  the  Christ  is  well  worthy  of  consideration.  This  order  claimed  to  be 
the  only  sect  to  have  actual  pictures  of  the  Divine  Syrian.  While  these  were,  in  all  probability, 
idealistic  conceptions  of  the  Savior  based  upon  existing  sculpturings  and  paintings  of  the  pagan  sun 
gods,  they  were  all  Christianity  had.  To  the  Gnostics,  the  Christ  was  the  personification  of  Nous,  the 
Divine  Mind,  and  emanated  from  the  higher  spiritual  iEons.  He  descended  into  the  body  of  Jesus  at 
the  baptism  and  left  it  again  before  the  crucifixion.  The  Gnostics  declared  that  the  Christ  was  not 
crucified,  as  this  Divine  Nous  could  not  suffer  death,  but  that  Simon,  the  Cyrenian,  offered  his  life 
instead  and  that  the  Nous,  by  means  of  its  power,  caused  Simon  to  resemble  Jesus.  Irenseus  makes 
the  following  statement  concerning  the  cosmic  sacrifice  of  the  Christ: 

"When  the  uncreated,  unnamed  Father  saw  the  corruption  of  mankind.  He  sent  His  firstborn.  Nous, 
into  the  world,  in  the  form  of  Christ,  for  the  redemption  of  all  who  believe  in  Him,  out  of  the  power  of 
those  that  have  fabricated  the  world  (the  Demiurgus,  and  his  six  sons,  the  planetary  genii).  He 
appeared  amongst  men  as  the  Man  Jesus,  and  wrought  miracles."  (See  King's  Gnostics  and  Their 

The  Gnostics  divided  humanity  into  three  parts:  those  who,  as  savages,  worshiped  only  the  visible 

Nature;  those  who,  like  the  Jews,  worshiped  the  Demiurgus;  and  lastly,  themselves,  or  others  of  a 
similar  cult,  including  certain  sects  of  Christians,  who  worshiped  Nous  (Christ)  and  the  true  spiritual 
light  of  the  higher  vEons. 

After  the  death  of  Basilides,  Valentinus  became  the  leading  inspiration  of  the  Gnostic  movement.  He 
still  further  complicated  the  system  of  Gnostic  philosophy  by  adding  infinitely  to  the  details.  He 
increased  the  number  of  emanations  from  the  Great  One  (the  Abyss)  to  fifteen  pairs  and  also  laid 
much  emphasis  on  the  Virgin  Sophia,  or  Wisdom.  In  the  Books  of  the  Savior,  parts  of  which  are 
commonly  known  as  the  Pistis  Sophia,  may  be  found  much  material  concerning  this  strange  doctrine 
of  i^lons  and  their  strange  inhabitants.  James  Freeman  Clarke,  in  speaking  of  the  doctrines  of  the 
Gnostics,  says:  "These  doctrines,  strange  as  they  seem  to  us,  had  a  wide  influence  in  the  Christian 
Church."  Many  of  the  theories  of  the  ancient  Gnostics,  especially  those  concerning  scientific  subjects, 
have  been  substantiated  by  modern  research.  Several  sects  branched  off  from  the  main  stem  of 
Gnosticism,  such  as  the  Valentinians,  the  Ophites  (serpent  worshipers),  and  the  Adamites.  After  the 
third  century  their  power  waned,  and  the  Gnostics  practically  vanished  from  the  philosophic  world. 
An  effort  was  made  during  the  Middle  Ages  to  resurrect  the  principles  of  Gnosticism,  but  owing  to  the 
destruction  of  their  records  the  material  necessary  was  not  available.  Even  today  there  are  evidences 
of  Gnostic  philosophy  in  the  modern  world,  but  they  bear  other  names  and  their  true  origin  is  not 
suspected.  Many  of  the  Gnostic  concepts  have  actually  been  incorporated  into  the  dogmas  of  the 
Christian  Church,  and  our  newer  interpretations  of  Christianity  are  often  along  the  lines  of  Gnostic 



The  identity  of  the  Greco-Egyptian  Serapis  (known  to  the  Greeks  as  Serapis  and  the  Egyptians  as 
Asar-Hapi)  is  shrouded  by  an  impenetrable  veil  of  mystery.  While  this  deity  was  a  familiar  figure 
among  the  symbols  of  the  secret  Egyptian  initiatory  rites,  his  arcane  nature  was  revealed  only  to  those 
who  had  fulfilled  the  requirements  of  the  Serapic  cultus.  Therefore,  in  all  probability,  excepting  the 
initiated  priests,  the  Egyptians  themselves  were  ignorant  of  his  true  character.  So  far  as  known,  there 
exists  no  authentic  account  of  the  rites  of  Serapis,  but  an  analysis  of  the  deity  and  his  accompanying 
symbols  reveals  their  salient  points.  In  an  oracle  delivered  to  the  King  of  Cyprus,  Serapis  described 
himself  thus: 

"A  god  I  am  such  as  I  show  to  thee. 
The  Starry  Heavens  are  my  head,  my  trunk  the  sea. 
Earth  forms  my  feet,  mine  ears  the  air  supplies. 
The  Sun's  far-darting,  brilliant  rays,  mine  eyes." 

Several  unsatisfactory  attempts  have  been  made  to  etymologize  the  word  Serapis.  Godfrey  Higgins 
notes  that  Soros  was  the  name  given  by  the  Egyptians  to  a  stone  coffin,  and  Apis  was  Osiris  incarnate 
in  the  sacred  bull.  These  two  words  combined  result  in  Soros-Apis  or  Sor-Apis,  "the  tomb  of  the  bull." 
But  it  is  improbable  that  the  Egyptians  would  worship  a  coffin  in  the  form  of  a  man. 

Several  ancient  authors,  including  Macrobius,  have  affirmed  that  Serapis  was  a  name  for  the  Sun, 
because  his  image  so  often  had  a  halo  of  light  about  its  head.  In  his  Oration  Upon  the  Sovereign  Sun, 
Julian  speaks  of  the  deity  in  these  words:  "One  Jove,  one  Pluto,  one  Sun  is  Serapis."  In  Hebrew, 
Serapis  is  Saraph,  meaning  "to  blaze  out"  or  "to  blaze  up."  For  this  reason  the  Jews  designated  one  of 
their  hierarchies  of  spiritual  beings.  Seraphim. 

The  most  common  theory,  however,  regarding  the  origin  of  the  name  Serapis  is  that  which  traces  its 

derivation  from  the  compound  Osiris-Apis.  At  one  time  the  Egyptians  believed  that  the  dead  were 
absorbed  into  the  nature  of  Osiris,  the  god  of  the  dead.  While  marked  similarity  exists  between  Osiris- 
Apis  and  Serapis,  the  theory  advanced  by  Egyptologists  that  Serapis  is  merely  a  name  given  to  the 
dead  Apis,  or  sacred  bull  of  Egypt,  is  untenable  in  view  of  the  transcendent  wisdom  possessed  by  the 
Egyptian  priestcraft,  who,  in  all  probability,  used  the  god  to  symbolize  the  soul  of  the  world  {anima 
mundi).  The  material  body  of  Nature  was  called  Apzs;  the  soul  which  escaped  from  the  body  at  death 
but  was  enmeshed  with  the  form  during  physical  life  was  designated  Serapis. 

C.  W.  King  believes  Serapis  to  be  a  deity  of  Brahmanic  extraction,  his  name  being  the  Grecianized 
form  of  Ser-adah  or  Sri-pa,  two  titles  ascribed  to  Yama,  the  Hindu  god  of  death.  This  appears 
reasonable,  especially  since  there  is  a  legend  to  the  effect  that  Serapis,  in  the  form  of  a  bull,  was 
driven  by  Bacchus  from  India  to  Egypt.  The  priority  of  the  Hindu  Mysteries  would  further 
substantiate  such  a  theory. 

Among  other  meanings  suggested  for  the  word  Serapis  are:  "The  Sacred  Bull,"  "The  Sun  in  Taurus," 
"The  Soul  of  Osiris,"  "The  Sacred  Serpent,"  and  "The  Retiring  of  the  Bull."  The  last  appellation  has 
reference  to  the  ceremony  of  drowning  the  sacred  Apis  in  the  waters  of  the  Nile  every  twenty-five 

This  Gnostic  gem  represents  by  its  serpentine  body  the  pathway  of  the  Sun  and  by  its  Hon  head  the  exaltation  of  the  solar 
in  the  constellation  of  Leo. 


From  Montfaucon 's  Antiquities. 


From  Montfaucon 's  Antiquities. 

Labyrinths  and  mazes  were  favored  places  of  initiation  among  many  ancient  cults.  Remains  of  these  mystic  mazes  have 
been  found  among  the  American  Indians,  Hindus,  Persians,  Egyptians,  and  Greeks.  Some  of  these  mazes  are  merely 
involved  pathways  lined  with  stones;  others  are  literally  miles  of  gloomy  caverns  under  temples  or  hollowed  from  the 
sides  of  mountains.  The  famous  labyrinth  of  Crete,  in  which  roamed  the  bull-headed  Minotaur,  was  unquestionably  a 
place  of  initiation  into  the  Cretan  Mysteries. 

p.  27 

There  is  considerable  evidence  that  the  famous  statue  of  Serapis  in  the  Serapeum  at  Alexandria  was 
originally  worshiped  under  another  name  at  Sinope,  from  which  it  was  brought  to  Alexandria.  There 
is  also  a  legend  which  tells  that  Serapis  was  a  very  early  king  of  the  Egyptians,  to  whom  they  owed  the 
foundation  of  their  philosophical  and  scientific  power.  After  his  death  this  king  was  elevated  to  the 
estate  of  a  god.  Phylarchus  declared  that  the  word  Serapis  means  "the  power  that  disposed  the 
universe  into  its  present  beautiful  order." 

In  his  Isis  and  Osiris,  Plutarch  gives  the  following  account  of  the  origin  of  the  magnificent  statue  of 
Serapis  which  stood  in  the  Serapeum  at  Alexandria: 

While  he  was  Pharaoh  of  Egypt,  Ptolemy  Soter  had  a  strange  dream  in  which  he  beheld  a  tremendous 
statue,  which  came  to  life  and  ordered  the  Pharaoh  to  bring  it  to  Alexandria  with  all  possible  speed. 
Ptolemy  Soter,  not  knowing  the  whereabouts  of  the  statue,  was  sorely  perplexed  as  to  how  he  could 
discover  it.  While  the  Pharaoh  was  relating  his  dream,  a  great  traveler  by  the  name  of  Sosibius, 
coming  forward,  declared  that  he  had  seen  such  an  image  at  Sinope.  The  Pharaoh  immediately 
dispatched  Soteles  and  Dionysius  to  negotiate  for  the  removal  of  the  figure  to  Alexandria.  Three  years 
elapsed  before  the  image  was  finally  obtained,  the  representatives  of  the  Pharaoh  finally  stealing  it 
and  concealing  the  theft  by  spreading  a  story  that  the  statue  had  come  to  life  and,  walking  down  the 
street  leading  from  its  temple,  had  boarded  the  ship  prepared  for  its  transportation  to  Alexandria. 
Upon  its  arrival  in  Egypt,  the  figure  was  brought  into  the  presence  of  two  Egyptian  Initiates—the 
Eumolpid  Timotheus  and  Manetho  the  Sebennite~who,  immediately  pronounced  it  to  be  Serapis. 
The  priests  then  declared  that  it  was  equipollent  to  Pluto.  This  was  a  masterly  stroke,  for  in  Serapis 
the  Greeks  and  Egyptians  found  a  deity  in  common  and  thus  religious  unity  was  consummated 
between  the  two  nations. 

Several  figures  of  Serapis  that  stood  in  his  various  temples  in  Egypt  and  Rome  have  been  described  by 
early  authors.  Nearly  all  these  showed  Grecian  rather  than  Egyptian  influence.  In  some  the  body  of 
the  god  was  encircled  by  the  coils  of  a  great  serpent.  Others  showed  him  as  a  composite  of  Osiris  and 

A  description  of  the  god  that  in  all  probability  is  reasonably  accurate  is  that  which  represents  him  as  a 
tall,  powerful  figure,  conveying  the  twofold  impression  of  manly  strength  and  womanly  grace.  His 
face  portrayed  a  deeply  pensive  mood,  the  expression  inclining  toward  sadness.  His  hair  was  long  and 
arranged  in  a  somewhat  feminine  manner,  resting  in  curls  upon  his  breast  and  shoulders.  The  face, 
save  for  its  heavy  beard,  was  also  decidedly  feminine.  The  figure  of  Serapis  was  usually  robed  from 
head  to  foot  in  heavy  draperies,  believed  by  initiates  to  conceal  the  fact  that  his  body  was 

Various  substances  were  used  in  making  the  statues  of  Serapis.  Some  undoubtedly  were  carved  from 
stone  or  marble  by  skilled  craftsmen;  others  may  have  been  cast  from  base  or  precious  metals.  One 
colossus  of  Serapis  was  composed  of  plates  of  various  metals  fitted  together.  In  a  labyrinth  sacred  to 
Serapis  stood  a  thirteen-foot  statue  of  him  reputed  to  have  been  made  from  a  single  emerald.  Modern 
writers,  discussing  this  image,  state  that  it  was  made  of  green  glass  poured  into  a  mold.  According  to 
the  Egyptians,  however,  it  withstood  all  the  tests  of  an  actual  emerald. 

Clement  of  Alexandria  describes  a  figure  of  Serapis  compounded  from  the  following  elements:  First, 
filings  of  gold,  silver,  lead,  and  tin;  second,  all  manner  of  Egyptian  stones,  including  sapphires, 
hematites,  emeralds,  and  topazes;  all  these  being  ground  down  and  mixed  together  with  the  coloring 
matter  left  over  from  the  funeral  of  Osiris  and  Apis.  The  result  was  a  rare  and  curious  figure,  indigo  in 
color.  Some  of  the  statues  of  Serapis  must  have  been  formed  of  extremely  hard  substances,  for  when  a 
Christian  soldier,  carrying  out  the  edict  of  Theodosius,  struck  the  Alexandrian  Serapis  with  his  ax, 
that  instrument  was  shattered  into  fragments  and  sparks  flew  from  it.  It  is  also  quite  probable  that 
Serapis  was  worshiped  in  the  form  of  a  serpent,  in  common  with  many  of  the  higher  deities  of  the 
Egyptian  and  Greek  pantheons. 

Serapis  was  called  Theon  Heptagrammaton,  or  the  god  with  the  name  of  seven  letters.  The  name 
Serapis  (like  Abraxas  and  Mithras)  contains  seven  letters.  In  their  hymns  to  Serapis  the  priests 
chanted  the  seven  vowels.  Occasionally  Serapis  is  depicted  with  horns  or  a  coronet  of  seven  rays. 
These  evidently  represented  the  seven  divine  intelligences  manifesting  through  the  solar  light.  The 
Encyclopgedia  Britannica  notes  that  the  earliest  authentic  mention  of  Serapis  is  in  connection  with 
the  death  of  Alexander.  Such  was  the  prestige  of  Serapis  that  he  alone  of  the  gods  was  consulted  in 
behalf  of  the  dying  king. 

The  Egyptian  secret  school  of  philosophy  was  divided  into  the  Lesser  and  the  Greater  Mysteries,  the 
former  being  sacred  to  Isis  and  the  latter  to  Serapis  and  Osiris.  Wilkinson  is  of  the  opinion  that  only 
the  priests  were  permitted  to  enter  the  Greater  Mysteries.  Even  the  heir  to  the  throne  was  not  eligible 
until  he  had  been  crowned  Pharaoh,  when,  by  virtue  of  his  kingly  office,  he  automatically  became  a 
priest  and  the  temporal  head  of  the  state  religion.  (See  Wilkinson's  Manners  and  Customs  of  the 
Egyptians.)  A  limited  number  were  admitted  into  the  Greater  Mysteries:  these  preserved  their  secrets 

Much  of  the  information  concerning  the  rituals  of  the  higher  degrees  of  the  Egyptian  Mysteries  has 
been  gleaned  from  an  examination  of  the  chambers  and  passageways  in  which  the  initiations  were 
given.  Under  the  temple  of  Serapis  destroyed  by  Theodosius  were  found  strange  mechanical 
contrivances  constructed  by  the  priests  in  the  subterranean  crypts  and  caverns  where  the  nocturnal 
initiatory  rites  were  celebrated.  These  machines  indicate  the  severe  tests  of  moral  and  physical 
courage  undergone  by  the  candidates.  After  passing  through  these  tortuous  ways,  the  neophytes  who 
Survived  the  ordeals  were  ushered  into  the  presence  of  Serapis,  a  noble  and  awe-inspiring  figure 
illumined  by  unseen  lights. 

Labyrinths  were  also  a  striking  feature  in  connection  with  the  Rice  of  Serapis,  and  E.  A.  Wallis  Budge, 
in  his  Gods  of  the  Egyptians,  depicts  Serapis(Minotaur-like)  with  the  body  of  a  man  and  the  head  of  a 
bull.  Labyrinths  were  symbolic  of  the  involvements  and  illusions  of  the  lower  world  through  which 
wanders  the  soul  of  man  in  its  search  for  truth.  In  the  labyrinth  dwells  the  lower  animal  man  with  the 
head  of  the  bull,  who  seeks  to  destroy  the  soul  entangled  in  the  maze  of  worldly  ignorance.  In  this 
relation  Serapis  becomes  the  Tryer  or  Adversary  who  tests  the  souls  of  those  seeking  union  with  the 
Immortals.  The  maze  was  also  doubtless  used  to  represent  the  solar  system,  the  Bull-Man 
representing  the  sun  dwelling  in  the  mystic  maze  of  its  planets,  moons,  and  asteroids. 

The  Gnostic  Mysteries  were  acquainted  with  the  arcane  meaning  of  Serapis,  and  through  the  medium 
of  Gnosticism  this  god  became  inextricably  associated  with  early  Christianity.  In  fact,  the  Emperor 
Hadrian,  while  traveling  in  Egypt  in  A.D.  24,  declared  in  a  letter  to  Servianus  that  the  worshipers  of 
Serapis  were  Christians  and  that  the  Bishops  of  the  church  also  worshiped  at  his  shrine.  He  even 
declared  that  the  Patriarch  himself,  when  in  Egypt,  was  forced  to  adore  Serapis  as  well  as  Christ.  (See 
Parsons'  New  Light  on  the  Great  Pyramid.) 

The  little-suspected  importance  of  Serapis  as  a  prototype  of  Christ  can  be  best  appreciated  after  a 
consideration  of  the  following  extract  from  C.  W.  King's  Gnostics  and  Their  Remains:  "There  can  be 

no  doubt  that  the  head  of  Serapis,  marked  as  the  face  is  by  a  grave  and  pensive  majesty,  suppHed  the 
first  idea  for  the  conventional  portraits  of  the  Saviour.  The  Jewish  prejudices  of  the  first  converts 
were  so  powerful  that  we  may  be  sure  no  attempt  was  made  to  depict  His  countenance  until  some 
generations  after  all  that  had  beheld  it  on  earth  had  passed  away." 

Serapis  gradually  usurped  the  positions  previously  occupied  by  the  other  Egyptian  and  Greek  gods, 
and  became  the  supreme  deity  of  both  religions.  His  power  continued  until  the  fourth  century  of 


From  Mosaize  Historie  der  Hebreeuwse  Kerke. 

Serapis  is  often  shown  standing  on  the  back  of  the  sacred  crocodile,  carrying  in  his  left  hand  a  rule  with  which  to  measure 
the  inundations  of  the  Nile,  and  balancing  with  his  right  hand  a  curious  emblem  consisting  of  an  animal  with  the  heads. 
The  first  head—that  of  a  lion—signified  the  present;  the  second  head— that  of  a  wolf— the  past;  and  the  third  head— that  of  a 
dog— the  future.  The  body  with  its  three  heads  was  enveloped  by  the  twisted  coils  of  a  serpent.  Figures  of  Serapis  are 
occasionally  accompanied  by  Cerberus,  the  three-headed  dog  of  Pluto,  and— like  Jupiter— carry  baskets  of  grain  upon  their 

p.  28 

the  Christian  Era.  In  A.D.  385,  Theodosius,  that  would-be  exterminator  of  pagan  philosophy,  issued 
his  memorable  edict  De  Idolo  Serapidis  Diruendo.  When  the  Christian  soldiers,  in  obedience  to  this 
order,  entered  the  Serapeum  at  Alexandria  to  destroy  the  image  of  Serapis  which  had  stood  there  for 
centuries,  so  great  was  their  veneration  for  the  god  that  they  dared  not  touch  the  image  lest  the 
ground  should  open  at  their  feet  and  engulf  them.  At  length,  overcoming  their  fear,  they  demolished 
the  statue,  sacked  the  building,  and  finally  as  a  fitting  climax  to  their  offense  burned  the  magnificent 
library  which  was  housed  within  the  lofty  apartments  of  the  Serapeum.  Several  writers  have  recorded 
the  remarkable  fact  that  Christian  symbols  were  found  in  the  ruined  foundations  of  this  pagan  temple 
Socrates,  a  church  historian  of  the  fifth  century,  declared  that  after  the  pious  Christians  had  razed  the 
Serapeum  at  Alexandria  and  scattered  the  demons  who  dwelt  there  under  the  guise  of  gods,  beneath 
the  foundations  was  found  the  monogram  of  Christ! 

Two  quotations  will  further  establish  the  relationship  existing  between  the  Mysteries  of  Serapis  and 
those  of  other  ancient  peoples.  The  first  is  from  Richard  Payne  Knight's  Symbolical  Language  of 
Ancient  Art  and  Mythology:  "Hence  Varro  [in  De  Lingua  Latina]  says  that  Coelum  and  Terra,  that  is 
universal  mind  and  productive  body,  were  the  Great  Gods  of  the  Samothracian  Mysteries;  and  the 
same  as  the  Serapis  and  Isis  of  the  later  ^Egyptians:  the  Taautos  and  Astarte  of  the  Phcenicians,  and 
the  Saturn  and  Ops  of  the  Latins."  The  second  quotation  is  from  Albert  Pike's  Morals  and  Dogma: 
"'Thee,'  says  Martianus  Capella,  in  his  hymn  to  the  Sun,  'dwellers  on  the  Nile  adore  as  Serapis,  and 
Memphis  worships  as  Osiris:  in  the  sacred  rites  of  Persia  thou  art  Mithras,  in  Phrygia,  Atys,  and  Libya 
bows  down  to  thee  as  Ammon,  and  Phoenician  Byblos  as  Adonis;  thus  the  whole  world  adores  thee 
under  different  names.'" 


The  date  of  the  founding  of  the  Odinic  Mysteries  is  uncertain,  some  writers  declaring  that  they  were 
established  in  the  first  century  before  Christ;  others,  the  first  century  after  Christ.  Robert  Macoy,  33°, 
gives  the  following  description  of  their  origin:  "It  appears  from  the  northern  chronicles  that  in  the 
first  century  of  the  Christian  Era,  Sigge,  the  chief  of  the  Aser,  an  Asiatic  tribe,  emigrated  from  the 
Caspian  sea  and  the  Caucasus  into  northern  Europe.  He  directed  his  course  northwesterly  from  the 
Black  sea  to  Russia,  over  which,  according  to  tradition,  he  placed  one  of  his  sons  as  a  ruler,  as  he  is 
said  to  have  done  over  the  Saxons  and  the  Franks.  He  then  advanced  through  Cimbria  to  Denmark, 
which  acknowledged  his  fifth  son  Skiold  as  its  sovereign,  and  passed  over  to  Sweden,  where  Gylf,  who 
did  homage  to  the  wonderful  stranger,  and  was  initiated  into  his  mysteries,  then  ruled.  He  soon  made 
himself  master  here,  built  Sigtuna  as  the  capital  of  his  empire,  and  promulgated  a  new  code  of  laws, 
and  established  the  sacred  mysteries.  He,  himself,  assumed  the  name  of  Odin,  founded  the  priesthood 
of  the  twelve  Drottars  (Druids?)  who  conducted  the  secret  worship,  and  the  administration  of  justice, 
and,  as  prophets,  revealed  the  future.  The  secret  rites  of  these  mysteries  celebrated  the  death  of 
Balder,  the  beautiful  and  lovely,  and  represented  the  grief  of  Gods  and  men  at  his  death,  and  his 
restoration  to  life."  {General  History  of  Freemasonry.) 

After  his  death,  the  historical  Odin  was  apotheosized,  his  identity  being  merged  into  that  of  the 
mjrthological  Odin,  god  of  wisdom,  whose  cult  he  had  promulgated.  Odinism  then  supplanted  the 
worship  of  Thor,  the  thunderer,  the  supreme  deity  of  the  ancient  Scandinavian  pantheon.  The  mound 
where,  according  to  legend,  King  Odin  was  buried  is  still  to  be  seen  near  the  site  of  his  great  temple  at 

The  twelve  Drottars  who  presided  over  the  Odinic  Mysteries  evidently  personified  the  twelve  holy 
and  ineffable  names  of  Odin.  The  rituals  of  the  Odinic  Mysteries  were  very  similar  to  those  of  the 
Greeks,  Persians,  and  Brahmins,  after  which  they  were  patterned.  The  Drottars,  who  symbolized  the 
signs  of  the  zodiac,  were  the  custodians  of  the  arts  and  sciences,  which  they  revealed  to  those  who 
passed  successfully  the  ordeals  of  initiation.  Like  many  other  pagan  cults,  the  Odinic  Mysteries,  as  an 
institution,  were  destroyed  by  Christianity,  but  the  underlying  cause  of  their  fall  was  the  corruption  of 
the  priesthood. 

Mythology  is  nearly  always  the  ritual  and  the  symbolism  of  a  Mystery  school.  Briefly  stated,  the 
sacred  drama  which  formed  the  basis  of  the  Odinic  Mysteries  was  as  follows: 

The  Supreme,  invisible  Creator  of  all  things  was  called  All-Father.  His  regent  in  Nature  was  Odin,  the 
one-eyed  god.  Like  Quetzalcoatl,  Odin  was  elevated  to  the  dignity  of  the  Supreme  Deity.  According  to 
the  Drottars,  the  universe  was  fashioned  from  the  body  of  Ymir,  the  hoarfrost  giant.  Ymir  was  formed 
from  the  clouds  of  mist  that  rose  from  Ginnungagap,  the  great  cleft  in  chaos  into  which  the 
primordial  frost  giants  and  flame  giants  had  hurled  snow  and  fire.  The  three  gods—Odin,  Vili,  and  Ve- 
-slew  Ymir  and  from  him  formed  the  world.  From  Ymir's  various  members  the  different  parts  of 
Nature  were  fashioned. 

After  Odin  had  established  order,  he  caused  a  wonderful  palace,  called  Asgard,  to  be  built  on  the  top 

of  a  mountain,  and  here  the  twelve  ^^Isir  (gods)  dwelt  together,  far  above  the  limitations  of  mortal 
men.  On  this  mountain  also  was  Valhalla,  the  palace  of  the  slain,  where  those  who  had  heroically  died 
fought  and  feasted  day  after  day.  Each  night  their  wounds  were  healed  and  the  boar  whose  flesh  they 
ate  renewed  itself  as  rapidly  as  it  was  consumed. 

Balder  the  Beautiful—the  Scandinavian  Christ —was  the  beloved  son  of  Odin.  Balder  was  not  warlike; 
his  kindly  and  beautiful  spirit  brought  peace  and  joy  to  the  hearts  of  the  gods,  and  they  all  loved  him 
save  one.  As  Jesus  had  a  Judas  among  His  twelve  disciples,  so  one  of  the  twelve  gods  was  false—Loki, 
the  personification  of  evil.  Loki  caused  Hothr,  the  blind  god  of  fate,  to  shoot  Balder  with  a  mistletoe 
arrow.  With  the  death  of  Balder,  light  and  joy  vanished  from  the  lives  of  the  other  deities. 
Heartbroken,  the  gods  gathered  to  find  a  method  whereby  they  could  resurrect  this  spirit  of  eternal 
life  and  youth.  The  result  was  the  establishment  of  the  Mysteries. 

The  Odinic  Mysteries  were  given  in  underground  crypts  or  caves,  the  chambers,  nine  in  number, 
representing  the  Nine  Worlds  of  the  Mysteries.  The  candidate  seeking  admission  was  assigned  the 
task  of  raising  Balder  from  the  dead.  Although  he  did  not  realize  it,  he  himself  played  the  part  of 
Balder.  He  called  himself  a  wanderer;  the  caverns  through  which  he  passed  were  symbolic  of  the 
worlds  and  spheres  of  Nature.  The  priests  who  initiated  him  were  emblematic  of  the  sun,  the  moon, 
and  the  stars.  The  three  supreme  initiators—the  Sublime,  the  Equal  to  the  Sublime,  and  the  Highest— 
were  analogous  to  the  Worshipful  Master  and  the  junior  and  Senior  Wardens  of  a  Masonic  lodge. 

After  wandering  for  hours  through  the  intricate  passageways,  the  candidate  was  ushered  into  the 
presence  of  a  statue  of  Balder  the  Beautiful,  the  prototype  of  all  initiates  into  the  Mysteries.  This 
figure  stood  in  the  center  of  a  great  apartment  roofed  with  shields.  In  the  midst  of  the  chamber  stood 
a  plant  with  seven  blossoms,  emblematic  of  the  planers.  In  this  room,  which  symbolized  the  house  of 
the  i^sir,  or  Wisdom,  the  neophyte  took  his  oath  of  secrecy  and  piety  upon  the  naked  blade  of  a  sword. 
He  drank  the  sanctified  mead  from  a  bowl  made  of  a  human  skull  and,  having  passed  successfully 
through  all  the  tortures  and  trials  designed  to  divert  him  from  the  course  of  wisdom,  he  was  finally 
permitted  to  unveil  the  mystery  of  Odin—the  personification  of  wisdom.  He  was  presented,  in  the 
name  of  Balder,  with  the  sacred  ring  of  the  order;  he  was  hailed  as  a  man  reborn;  and  it  was  said  of 
him  that  he  had  died  and  had  been  raised  again  without  passing  through  the  gates  of  death. 

Richard  Wagner's  immortal  composition,  Der  Ring  des  Nibelungen,  is  based  upon  the  Mystery  rituals 
of  the  Odinic  cult.  While  the  great  composer  took  many  liberties  with  the  original  story,  the  Ring 
Operas,  declared  to  be  the  grandest  tetralogy  of  music  dramas  the  world  possesses,  have  caught  and 
preserved  in  a  remarkable  manner  the  majesty  and  power  of  the  original  sagas.  Beginning  with  Das 
Rheingold,  the  action  proceeds  through  Die  Walkilre  and  Siegfried  to  an  awe-inspiring  climax  in 
Gdtterddmmerung,  "The  Twilight  of  the  Gods." 


The  Nordic  Mysteries  were  given  in  nine  chambers,  or  caverns,  the  candidate  advancing  through  them  in  sequential  order. 
These  chambers  of  initiation  represented  the  nine  spheres  into  which  the  Drottars  divided  the  universe:  (i)  Asgard,  the 
Heaven  World  of  the  Gods;  (2)  Alf-heim,  the  World  of  the  light  and  beautiful  Elves,  or  Spirits;  (3)  Nifl-heim,  the  World  of 
Cold  and  Darkness,  which  is  located  in  the  North;  (4)  Jotun-heim,  the  World  of  the  Giants,  which  is  located  in  the  East;  (5) 
Midgard,  the  Earth  World  of  human  beings,  which  is  located  in  the  midst,  or  middle  place;  (6)  Vana-heim,  the  World  of 
the  Vanes,  which  is  located  in  the  West;  (7)  Muspells-heim,  the  World  of  Fire,  which  is  located  in  the  South;  8)  Svart-alfa- 
heim,  the  World  of  the  dark  and  treacherous  Elves,  which  is  under  the  earth;  and  (9)  Hel-heim,  the  World  of  cold  and  the 
abode  of  the  dead,  which  is  located  at  the  very  lowest  point  of  the  universe.  It  is  to  be  understood  that  all  of  these  worlds 
are  invisible  to  the  senses,  except  Midgard,  the  home  of  human  creatures,  but  during  the  process  of  initiation  the  soul  of 
the  candidate—liberated  from  its  earthly  sheath  by  the  secret  power  of  the  priests—wanders  amidst  the  inhabitants  of 
these  various  spheres.  There  is  undoubtedly  a  relationship  between  the  nine  worlds  of  the  Scandinavians  and  the  nine 
spheres,  or  planes,  through  which  initiates  of  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries  passed  in  their  ritual  of  regeneration. 

p.  29 

The  Ancient  Mysteries  and  Secret  Societies 

Part  Three 

THE  most  famous  of  the  ancient  religious  Mysteries  were  the  Eleusinian,  whose  rites  were  celebrated 
every  five  years  in  the  city  of  Eleusis  to  honor  Ceres  (Demeter,  Rhea,  or  Isis)  and  her  daughter, 
Persephone.  The  initiates  of  the  Eleusinian  School  were  famous  throughout  Greece  for  the  beauty  of 
their  philosophic  concepts  and  the  high  standards  of  morality  which  they  demonstrated  in  their  daily 
lives.  Because  of  their  excellence,  these  Mysteries  spread  to  Rome  and  Britain,  and  later  the 
initiations  were  given  in  both  these  countries.  The  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  named  for  the  community  in 
Attica  where  the  sacred  dramas  were  first  presented,  are  generally  believed  to  have  been  founded  by 
Eumolpos  about  fourteen  hundred  years  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  and  through  the  Platonic  system 
of  philosophy  their  principles  have  been  preserved  to  modern  times. 

The  rites  of  Eleusis,  with  their  Mystic  interpretations  of  Nature's  most  precious  secrets, 
overshadowed  the  civilizations  of  their  time  and  gradually  absorbed  many  smaller  schools, 
incorporating  into  their  own  system  whatever  valuable  information  these  lesser  institutions  possessed. 
Heckethorn  sees  in  the  Mysteries  of  Ceres  and  Bacchus  a  metamorphosis  of  the  rites  of  Isis  and  Osiris, 
and  there  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  all  so-called  secret  schools  of  the  ancient  world  were 
branches  from  one  philosophic  tree  which,  with  its  root  in  heaven  and  its  branches  on  the  earth,  is~ 
like  the  spirit  of  man—an  invisible  but  ever-present  cause  of  the  objectified  vehicles  that  give  it 
expression.  The  Mysteries  were  the  channels  through  which  this  one  philosophic  light  was 
disseminated,  and  their  initiates,  resplendent  with  intellectual  and  spiritual  understanding,  were  the 
perfect  fruitage  of  the  divine  tree,  bearing  witness  before  the  material  world  of  the  recondite  source  of 
all  Light  and  Truth. 

The  rites  of  Eleusis  were  divided  into  what  were  called  the  Lesser  and  the  Greater  Mysteries. 
According  to  James  Gardner,  the  Lesser  Mysteries  were  celebrated  in  the  spring  (probably  at  the  time 
of  the  vernal  equinox)  in  the  town  of  Agrse,  and  the  Greater,  in  the  fall  (the  time  of  the  autumnal 
equinox)  at  Eleusis  or  Athens.  It  is  supposed  that  the  former  were  given  annually  and  the  latter  every 
five  years.  The  rituals  of  the  Eleusinians  were  highly  involved,  and  to  understand  them  required  a 
deep  study  of  Greek  mythology,  which  they  interpreted  in  its  esoteric  light  with  the  aid  of  their  secret 

The  Lesser  Mysteries  were  dedicated  to  Persephone.  In  his  Eleusinian  and  Bacchic  Mysteries, 
Thomas  Taylor  sums  up  their  purpose  as  follows:  "The  Lesser  Mysteries  were  designed  by  the  ancient 
theologists,  their  founders,  to  signify  occultly  the  condition  of  the  unpurified  soul  invested  with  an 
earthy  body,  and  enveloped  in  a  material  and  physical  nature." 

The  legend  used  in  the  Lesser  rites  is  that  of  the  abduction  of  the  goddess  Persephone,  the  daughter  of 
Ceres,  by  Pluto,  the  lord  of  the  underworld,  or  Hades.  While  Persephone  is  picking  flowers  in  a 
beautiful  meadow,  the  earth  suddenly  opens  and  the  gloomy  lord  of  death,  riding  in  a  magnificent 
chariot,  emerges  from  its  somber  depths  and,  grasping  her  in  his  arms,  carries  the  screaming  and 
struggling  goddess  to  his  subterranean  palace,  where  he  forces  her  to  become  his  queen. 

It  is  doubtful  whether  many  of  the  initiates  themselves  understood  the  mystic  meaning  of  this 
allegory,  for  most  of  them  apparently  believed  that  it  referred  solely  to  the  succession  of  the  seasons. 
It  is  difficult  to  obtain  satisfactory  information  concerning  the  Mysteries,  for  the  candidates  were 
bound  by  inviolable  oaths  never  to  reveal  their  inner  secrets  to  the  profane.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
ceremony  of  initiation,  the  candidate  stood  upon  the  skins  of  animals  sacrificed  for  the  purpose,  and 

vowed  that  death  should  seal  his  lips  before  he  would  divulge  the  sacred  truths  which  were  about  to 
be  communicated  to  him.  Through  indirect  channels,  however,  some  of  their  secrets  have  been 
preserved.  The  teachings  given  to  the  neophytes  were  substantially  as  follows: 

The  soul  of  man—often  called  Psyche,  and  in  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries  symbolized  by  Persephone~is 
essentially  a  spiritual  thing.  Its  true  home  is  in  the  higher  worlds,  where,  free  from  the  bondage  of 
material  form  and  material  concepts,  it  is  said  to  be  truly  alive  and  self-expressive.  The  human,  or 
physical,  nature  of  man,  according  to  this  doctrine,  is  a  tomb,  a  quagmire,  a  false  and  impermanent 
thing,  the  source  of  all  sorrow  and  suffering.  Plato  describes  the  body  as  the  sepulcher  of  the  soul;  and 
by  this  he  means  not  only  the  human  form  but  also  the  human  nature. 

The  gloom  and  depression  of  the  Lesser  Mysteries  represented  the  agony  of  the  spiritual  soul  unable 
to  express  itself  because  it  has  accepted  the  limitations  and  illusions  of  the  human  environment.  The 
crux  of  the  Eleusinian  argument  was  that  man  is  neither  better  nor  wiser  after  death  than  during  life. 
If  he  does  not  rise  above  ignorance  during  his  sojourn  here,  man  goes  at  death  into  eternity  to  wander 
about  forever,  making  the  same  mistakes  which  he  made  here.  If  he  does  not  outgrow  the  desire  for 
material  possessions  here,  he  will  carry  it  with  him  into  the  invisible  world,  where,  because  he  can 
never  gratify  the  desire,  he  will  continue  in  endless  agony.  Dante's  Inferno  is  symbolically  descriptive 
of  the  sufferings  of  those  who  never  freed  their  spiritual  natures  from  the  cravings,  habits,  viewpoints, 
and  limitations  of  their  Plutonic  personalities.  Those  who  made  no  endeavor  to  improve  themselves 
(whose  souls  have  slept)  during  their  physical  lives,  passed  at  death  into  Hades,  where,  lying  in  rows, 
they  slept  through  all  eternity  as  they  had  slept  through  life. 

To  the  Eleusinian  philosophers,  birch  into  the  physical  world  was  death  in  the  fullest  sense  of  the 
word,  and  the  only  true  birth  was  that  of  the  spiritual  soul  of  man  rising  out  of  the  womb  of  his  own 
fleshly  nature.  "The  soul  is  dead  that  slumbers,"  says  Longfellow,  and  in  this  he  strikes  the  keynote  of 
the  Eleusinian  Mysteries.  Just  as  Narcissus,  gazing  at  himself  in  the  water  (the  ancients  used  this 
mobile  element  to  symbolize  the  transitory,  illusionary,  material  universe)  lost  his  life  trying  to 
embrace  a  reflection,  so  man,  gazing  into  the  mirror  of  Nature  and  accepting  as  his  real  self  the 
senseless  clay  that  he  sees  reflected,  loses  the  opportunity  afforded  by  physical  life  to  unfold  his 
immortal,  invisible  Self. 

An  ancient  initiate  once  said  that  the  living  are  ruled  by  the  dead.  Only  those  conversant  with  the 
Eleusinian  concept  of  life  could  understand  that  statement.  It  means  that  the  majority  of  people  are 
not  ruled  by  their  living  spirits  but  by  their  senseless  (hence  dead)  animal  personalities. 
Transmigration  and  reincarnation  were  taught  in  these  Mysteries,  but  in  a  somewhat  unusual  manner. 
It  was  believed  that  at  midnight  the  invisible  worlds  were  closest  to  the  Terrestrial  sphere  and  that 
souls  coming  into  material  existence  slipped  in  during  the  midnight  hour.  For  this  reason  many  of  the 


From  Thomassin's  Recucil  des  Figures,  Groupes,  Themes,  Fontaines,  Vases  et  autres  Omements. 

Pluto,  the  lord  of  the  underworld,  represents  the  body  intelligence  of  man;  and  the  rape  of  Persephone  is  symbolic  of  the 
divine  nature  assaulted  and  defiled  by  the  animal  soul  and  dragged  downward  into  the  somber  darkness  of  Hades,  which 
is  here  used  as  a  synonym  for  the  material,  or  objective,  sphere  of  consciousness. 

In  his  Disquisitions  upon  the  Painted  Greek  Vases,  James  Christie  presents  Meursius'  version  of  the  occurrences  taking 
place  during  the  nine  days  required  for  the  enactment  of  the  Greater  Eleusinian  Rites.  The  first  day  was  that  of  general 
meeting,  during  which  those  to  be  initiated  were  questioned  concerning  their  several  qualifications.  The  second  day  was 
spent  in  a  procession  to  the  sea,  possibly  for  the  submerging  of  a  image  of  the  presiding  goddess.  The  third  day  was 
opened  by  the  sacrifice  of  a  mullet.  On  the  fourth  day  the  mystic  basket  containing  certain  sacred  symbols  was  brought  to 
Eleusis,  accompanied  by  a  number  of  female  devotees  carrying  smaller  baskets.  On  the  evening  of  the  fifth  day  there  was  a 
torch  race,  on  the  sixth  a  procession  led  by  a  statue  of  lacchus,  and  on  the  seventh  an  athletic  contest.  The  eighth  day  was 
devoted  to  a  repetition  of  the  ceremonial  for  the  benefit  of  any  who  might  have  been  prevented  from  coming  sooner.  The 
ninth  and  last  day  was  devoted  to  the  deepest  philosophical  issues  of  the  Eleusinia,  during  which  an  urn  or  jar—the 
symbol  of  Bacchus—was  exhibited  as  an  emblem  of  supreme  importance. 

p-  30 

ceremonies  were  performed  at  midnight.  Some  of  those  sleeping  spirits  who  had  failed  to  awaken 
their  higher  natures  during  the  earth  life  and  who  now  floated  around  in  the  invisible  worlds, 
surrounded  by  a  darkness  of  their  own  making,  occasionally  slipped  through  at  this  hour  and 
assumed  the  forms  of  various  creatures. 

The  mystics  of  Eleusis  also  laid  stress  upon  the  evil  of  suicide,  explaining  that  there  was  a  profound 
mystery  concerning  this  crime  of  which  they  could  not  speak,  but  warning  their  disciples  that  a  great 
sorrow  comes  to  all  who  take  their  own  lives.  This,  in  substance,  constitutes  the  esoteric  doctrine 
given  to  the  initiates  of  the  Lesser  Mysteries.  As  the  degree  dealt  largely  with  the  miseries  of  those 
who  failed  to  make  the  best  use  of  their  philosophic  opportunities,  the  chambers  of  initiation  were 
subterranean  and  the  horrors  of  Hades  were  vividly  depicted  in  a  complicated  ritualistic  drama.  After 
passing  successfully  through  the  tortuous  passageways,  with  their  trials  and  dangers,  the  candidate 
received  the  honorary  title  of  Mystes.  This  meant  one  who  saw  through  a  veil  or  had  a  clouded  vision. 

It  also  signified  that  the  candidate  had  been  brought  up  to  the  veil,  which  would  be  torn  away  in  the 
higher  degree.  The  modern  word  mystic,  as  referring  to  a  seeker  after  truth  according  to  the  dictates 
of  the  heart  along  the  path  of  faith,  is  probably  derived  from  this  ancient  word,  for  faith  is  belief  in  the 
reality  of  things  unseen  or  veiled. 

The  Greater  Mysteries  (into  which  the  candidate  was  admitted  only  after  he  had  successfully  passed 
through  the  ordeals  of  the  Lesser,  and  not  always  then)  were  sacred  to  Ceres,  the  mother  of 
Persephone,  and  represent  her  as  wandering  through  the  world  in  quest  of  her  abducted  daughter. 
Ceres  carried  two  torches,  intuition  and  reason,  to  aid  her  in  the  search  for  her  lost  child  (the  soul).  At 
last  she  found  Persephone  not  far  from  Eleusis,  and  out  of  gratitude  taught  the  people  there  to 
cultivate  corn,  which  is  sacred  to  her.  She  also  founded  the  Mysteries.  Ceres  appeared  before  Pluto, 
god  of  the  souls  of  the  dead,  and  pleaded  with  him  to  allow  Persephone  to  return  to  her  home.  This 
the  god  at  first  refused  to  do,  because  Persephone  had  eaten  of  the  pomegranate,  the  fruit  of  mortality. 
At  last,  however,  he  compromised  and  agreed  to  permit  Persephone  to  live  in  the  upper  world  half  of 
the  year  if  she  would  stay  with  him  in  the  darkness  of  Hades  for  the  remaining  half. 

The  Greeks  believed  that  Persephone  was  a  manifestation  of  the  solar  energy,  which  in  the  winter 
months  lived  under  the  earth  with  Pluto,  but  in  the  summer  returned  again  with  the  goddess  of 
productiveness.  There  is  a  legend  that  the  flowers  loved  Persephone  and  that  every  year  when  she  left 
for  the  dark  realms  of  Pluto,  the  plants  and  shrubs  would  die  of  grief.  While  the  profane  and 
uninitiated  had  their  own  opinions  on  these  subjects,  the  truths  of  the  Greek  allegories  remained 
safely  concealed  by  the  priests,  who  alone  recognized  the  sublimity  of  these  great  philosophic  and 
religious  parables. 

Thomas  Taylor  epitomizes  the  doctrines  of  the  Greater  Mysteries  in  the  following  statement:  "The 
Greater  (Mysteries)  obscurely  intimated,  by  mystic  and  splendid  visions,  the  felicity  of  the  soul  both 
here  and  hereafter  when  purified  from  the  defilement  of  a  material  nature,  and  constantly  elevated  to 
the  realities  of  intellectual  (spiritual)  vision." 

Just  as  the  Lesser  Mysteries  discussed  the  prenatal  epoch  of  man  when  the  consciousness  in  its  nine 
days  (embryologically,  months)  was  descending  into  the  realm  of  illusion  and  assuming  the  veil  of 
unreality,  so  the  Greater  Mysteries  discussed  the  principles  of  spiritual  regeneration  and  revealed  to 
initiates  not  only  the  simplest  but  also  the  most  direct  and  complete  method  of  liberating  their  higher 
natures  from  the  bondage  of  material  ignorance.  Like  Prometheus  chained  to  the  top  of  Mount 
Caucasus,  man's  higher  nature  is  chained  to  his  inadequate  personality.  The  nine  days  of  initiation 
were  also  symbolic  of  the  nine  spheres  through  which  the  human  soul  descends  during  the  process  of 
assuming  a  terrestrial  form.  The  secret  exercises  for  spiritual  unfoldment  given  to  disciples  of  the 
higher  degrees  are  unknown,  but  there  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  they  were  similar  to  the 
Brahmanic  Mysteries,  since  it  is  known  that  the  Eleusinian  ceremonies  were  closed  with  the  Sanskrit 
words  "Konx  Om  Pax." 

That  part  of  the  allegory  referring  to  the  two  six-month  periods  during  one  of  which  Persephone  must 
remain  with  Pluto,  while  during  the  other  she  may  revisit  the  upper  world,  offers  material  for  deep 
consideration.  It  is  probable  that  the  Eleusinians  realized  that  the  soul  left  the  body  during  steep,  or 
at  least  was  made  capable  of  leaving  by  the  special  training  which  undoubtedly  they  were  in  a  position 
to  give.  Thus  Persephone  would  remain  as  the  queen  of  Pluto's  realm  during  the  waking  hours,  but 
would  ascend  to  the  spiritual  worlds  during  the  periods  of  sleep.  The  initiate  was  taught  how  to 
intercede  with  Pluto  to  permit  Persephone  (the  initiate's  soul)  to  ascend  from  the  darkness  of  his 
material  nature  into  the  light  of  understanding.  When  thus  freed  from  the  shackles  of  clay  and 
crystallized  concepts,  the  initiate  was  liberated  not  only  for  the  period  of  his  life  but  for  all  eternity, 
for  never  thereafter  was  he  divested  of  those  soul  qualities  which  after  death  were  his  vehicles  for 
manifestation  and  expression  in  the  so-called  heaven  world. 

In  contrast  to  the  idea  of  Hades  as  a  state  of  darkness  below,  the  gods  were  said  to  inhabit  the  tops  of 

mountains,  a  well-known  example  being  Mount  Olympus,  where  the  twelve  deities  of  the  Greek 
pantheon  were  said  to  dwell  together.  In  his  initiatory  wanderings  the  neophyte  therefore  entered 
chambers  of  ever-increasing  brilliancy  to  portray  the  ascent  of  the  spirit  from  the  lower  worlds  into 
the  realms  of  bliss.  As  the  climax  to  such  wanderings  he  entered  a  great  vaulted  room,  in  the  center  of 
which  stood  a  brilliantly  illumined  statue  of  the  goddess  Ceres.  Here,  in  the  presence  of  the 
hierophant  and  surrounded  by  priests  in  magnificent  robes,  he  was  instructed  in  the  highest  of  the 
secret  mysteries  of  the  Eleusis.  At  the  conclusion  of  this  ceremony  he  was  hailed  as  an  Epoptes,  which 
means  one  who  has  beheld  or  seen  directly.  For  this  reason  also  initiation  was  termed  autopsy.  The 
Epoptes  was  then  given  certain  sacred  books,  probably  written  in  cipher,  together  with  tablets  of 
stone  on  which  secret  instructions  were  engraved. 

In  The  Obelisk  in  Freemasonry,  John  A.  Weisse  describes  the  officiating  personages  of  the  Eleusinian 
Mysteries  as  consisting  of  a  male  and  a  female  hierophant  who  directed  the  initiations;  a  male  and  a 
female  torchbearer;  a  male  herald;  and  a  male  and  a  female  altar  attendant.  There  were  also 
numerous  minor  officials.  He  states  that,  according  to  Porphyry,  the  hierophant  represents  Plato's 
Demiurgus,  or  Creator  of  the  world;  the  torch  bearer,  the  Sun;  the  altar  man,  the  Moon;  the  herald, 
Hermes,  or  Mercury;  and  the  other  officials,  minor  stars. 

From  the  records  available,  a  number  of  strange  and  apparently  supernatural  phenomena 
accompanied  the  rituals.  Many  initiates  claim  to  have  actually  seen  the  living  gods  themselves. 
Whether  this  was  the  result  of  religious  ecstasy  or  the  actual  cooperation  of  invisible  powers  with  the 
visible  priests  must  remain  a  mystery.  In  The  Metamorphosis,  or  Golden  Ass,  Apuleius  thus  describes 
what  in  all  probability  is  his  initiation  into  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries: 

"I  approached  to  the  confines  of  death,  and  having  trod  on  the  threshold  of  Proserpine  I,  returned 
from  it,  being  carried  through  all  the  elements.  At  midnight  I  saw  the  sun  shining  with  a  splendid 
light;  and  I  manifestly  drew  near  to,  the  gods  beneath,  and  the  gods  above,  and  proximately  adored 

Women  and  children  were  admitted  to  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  and  at  one  time  there  were  literally 
thousands  of  initiates.  Because  this  vast  host  was  not  prepared  for  the  highest  spiritual  and  mystical 
doctrines,  a  division  necessarily  took  place  within  the  society  itself.  The  higher  teachings  were  given 
to  only  a  limited  number  of  initiates  who,  because  of  superior  mentality,  showed  a  comprehensive 
grasp  of  their  underlying  philosophical  concepts.  Socrates  refused  to  be  initiated  into  the  Eleusinian 
Mysteries,  for  knowing  its  principles  without  being  a  member  of  the  order  he  realized  that 
membership  would  seal  his  tongue.  That  the  Mysteries  of  Eleusis  were  based  upon  great  and  eternal 
truths  is  attested  by  the  veneration  in  which  they  were  held  by  the  great  minds  of  the  ancient  world. 
M.  Ouvaroff  asks,  "Would  Pindar,  Plato,  Cicero,  Epictetus,  have  spoken  of  them  with  such  admiration, 
if  the  hierophant  had  satisfied  himself  with  loudly  proclaiming  his  own  opinions,  or  those  of  his 

The  garments  in  which  candidates  were  initiated  were  preserved  for  many  years  and  were  believed  to 
possess  almost  sacred  properties.  Just  as  the  soul  can  have  no  covering  save  wisdom  and  virtue,  so 
the  candidates—being  as  yet  without  true  knowledge—were  presented  to  the  Mysteries  unclothed, 
being  first:  given  the  skin  of  an  animal  and  later  a  consecrated  robe  to  symbolize  the  philosophical 
teachings  received  by  the  initiate.  During  the  course  of  initiation  the  candidate 


From  a  mural  painting  in  Pompeii. 

Ceres,  or  Demeter,  was  the  daughter  of  Kronos  and  Rhea,  and  by  Zeus  the  mother  of  Persephone.  Some  beUeve  her  to  be 
the  goddess  of  the  earth,  but  more  correctly  she  is  the  deity  protecting  agriculture  in  general  and  corn  in  particular.  The 
Poppy  is  sacred  to  Ceres  and  she  is  often  shown  carrying  or  ornamented  by  a  garland  of  these  flowers.  In  the  Mysteries, 
Ceres  represented  riding  in  a  chariot  drawn  by  winged  serpents. 

p-  31 


From  Ovid's  Metamorphosis. 

In  the  initiation,  of  the  Bacchic  Mysteries,  the  role  of  Bacchus  is  played  by  the  candidate  who,  set  upon  by  priests  in  the 
guise  of  the  Titans,  is  slain  and  finally  restored  to  life  amidst  great  rejoicing.  The  Bacchic  Mysteries  were  given  every  three 
years,  and  like  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  were  divided  into  two  degrees.  The  initiates  were  crowned  with  myrtle  and  ivy, 
plants  which  were  sacred  to  Bacchus. 

In  the  Anacalypsis,  Godfrey  Higgins  conclusively  establishes  Bacchus  (Dionysos)  as  one  of  the  early  pagan  forms  of  the 
Christos  myth,  "The  birthplace  of  Bacchus,  called  Sabazius  or  Sabaoth,  was  claimed  by  several  places  in  Greece;  but  on 

Mount  Zelmisus,  in  Thrace,  his  worship  seems  to  have  been  chiefly  celebrated.  He  was  born  of  a  virgin  on  the  25th  of 
December;  he  performed  great  miracles  for  the  good  of  mankind;  particularly  one  in  which  he  changed  water  into  wine; 
he  rode  in  a  triumphal  procession  on  an  ass;  he  was  put  to  death  by  the  Titans,  and  rose  again  from  the  dead  on  the  25th 
of  March:  he  was  always  called  the  Saviour.  In  his  mysteries,  he  was  shown  to  the  people,  as  an  infant  is  by  the  Christians 
at  this  day,  on  Christmas  Day  morning  in  Rome." 

While  Apollo  most  generally  represents  the  sun,  Bacchus  is  also  a  form  of  solar  energy,  for  his  resurrection  was 
accomplished  with  the  assistance  of  Apollo.  The  resurrection  of  Bacchus  signifies  merely  the  extraction  or 
disentanglement  of  the  various  Parts  of  the  Bacchic  constitution  from  the  Titanic  constitution  of  the  world.  This  is 
symbolized  by  the  smoke  or  soot  rising  from  the  burned  bodies  of  the  Titans.  The  soul  is  symbolized  by  smoke  because  it 
is  extracted  by  the  fire  of  the  Mysteries.  Smoke  signifies  the  ascension  of  the  soul,  far  evolution  is  the  process  of  the  soul 
rising,  like  smoke,  from  the  divinely  consumed  material  mass.  At  me  time  the  Bacchic  Rites  were  of  a  high  order,  but  later 
they  became  much  degraded .  The  Bacchanalia,  or  orgies  of  Bacchus,  are  famous  in  literature. 

p-  32 

passed  through  two  gates.  The  first  led  downward  into  the  lower  worlds  and  symbolized  his  birth  into 
ignorance.  The  second  led  upward  into  a  room  brilliantly  lighted  by  unseen  lamps,  in  which  was  the 
statue  of  Ceres  and  which  symbolized  the  upper  world,  or  the  abode  of  Light  and  Truth.  Strabo  states 
that  the  great  temple  of  Eleusis  would  hold  between  twenty  and  thirty  thousand  people.  The  caves 
dedicated  by  Zarathustra  also  had  these  two  doors,  symbolizing  the  avenues  of  birth  and  death. 

The  following  paragraph  from  Porphyry  gives  a  fairly  adequate  conception  of  Eleusinian  symbolism: 
"God  being  a  luminous  principle,  residing  in  the  midst  of  the  most  subtile  fire,  he  remains  for  ever 
invisible  to  the  eyes  of  those  who  do  not  elevate  themselves  above  material  life:  on  this  account,  the 
sight  of  transparent  bodies,  such  as  crystal,  Parian  marble,  and  even  ivory,  recalls  the  idea  of  divine 
light;  as  the  sight  of  gold  excites  an  idea  of  its  purity,  for  gold  cannot  he  sullied.  Some  have  thought  by 
a  black  stone  was  signified  the  invisibility  of  the  divine  essence.  To  express  supreme  reason,  the 
Divinity  was  represented  under  the  human  form—and  beautiful,  for  God  is  the  source  of  beauty;  of 
different  ages,  and  in  various  attitudes,  sitting  or  upright;  of  one  or  the  other  sex,  as  a  virgin  or  a 
young  man,  a  husband  or  a  bride,  that  all  the  shades  and  gradations  might  be  marked.  Every  thing 
luminous  was  subsequently  attributed  to  the  gods;  the  sphere,  and  all  that  is  spherical,  to  the  universe, 
to  the  sun  and  the  moon—sometimes  to  Fortune  and  to  Hope.  The  circle,  and  all  circular  figures,  to 
eternity— to  the  celestial  movements;  to  the  circles  and  zones  of  the  heavens.  The  section  of  circles,  to 
the  phases  of  the  moon;  and  pyramids  and  obelisks,  to  the  igneous  principle,  and  through  that  to  the 
gods  of  Heaven.  A  cone  expresses  the  sun,  a  cylinder  the  earth;  the  phallus  and  triangle  (a  symbol  of 
the  matrix)  designate  generation."  (From  Essay  on  the  Mysteries  of  Eleusis  by  M.  Ouvaroff.) 

The  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  according  to  Heckethorn,  survived  all  others  and  did  not  cease  to  exist  as 
an  institution  until  nearly  four  hundred  years  after  Christ,  when  they  were  finally  suppressed  by 
Theodosius  (styled  the  Great),  who  cruelly  destroyed  all  who  did  not  accept  the  Christian  faith.  Of  this 
greatest  of  all  philosophical  institutions  Cicero  said  that  it  taught  men  not  only  how  to  live  but  also 
how  to  die. 


Orpheus,  the  Thracian  bard,  the  great  initiator  of  the  Greeks,  ceased  to  be  known  as  a  man  and  was 
celebrated  as  a  divinity  several  centuries  before  the  Christian  Era.  "As  to  Orpheus  himself  *  *  *, " 
writes  Thomas  Taylor,  "scarcely  a  vestige  of  his  life  is  to  be  found  amongst  the  immense  ruins  of  time. 
For  who  has  ever  been  able  to  affirm  any  thing  with  certainty  of  his  origin,  his  age,  his  country,  and 
condition?  This  alone  may  be  depended  on,  from  general  assent,  that  there  formerly  lived  a  person 
named  Orpheus,  who  was  the  founder  of  theology  among  the  Greeks;  the  institutor  of  their  lives  and 
morals;  the  first  of  prophets,  and  the  prince  of  poets;  himself  the  offspring  of  a  Muse;  who  taught  the 
Greeks  their  sacred  rites  and  mysteries,  and  from  whose  wisdom,  as  from  a  perennial  and  abundant 

fountain,  the  divine  muse  of  Homer  and  the  sublime  theology  of  Pj^hagoras  and  Plato  flowed."  (See 
The  Mystical  Hymns  of  Orpheus.) 

Orpheus  was  founder  of  the  Grecian  mythological  system  which  he  used  as  the  medium  for  the 
promulgation  of  his  philosophical  doctrines.  The  origin  of  his  philosophy  is  uncertain.  He  may  have 
got  it  from  the  Brahmins,  there  being  legends  to  the  effect  that  he  got  it  was  a  Hindu,  his  name 
possibly  being  derived  from  opcpaviog,  meaning  "dark."  Orpheus  was  initiated  into  the  Egyptian 
Mysteries,  from  which  he  secured  extensive  knowledge  of  magic,  astrology,  sorcery,  and  medicine. 
The  Mysteries  of  the  Cabiri  at  Samothrace  were  also  conferred  upon  him,  and  these  undoubtedly 
contributed  to  his  knowledge  of  medicine  and  music. 

The  romance  of  Orpheus  and  Eurydice  is  one  of  the  tragic  episodes  of  Greek  mythology  and 
apparently  constitutes  the  outstanding  feature 

p-  32 

of  the  Orphic  Rite.  Eurydice,  in  her  attempt  to  escape  from  a  villain  seeking  to  seduce  her,  died  from 
the  venom  of  a  poisonous  serpent  which  stung  her  in  the  heel.  Orpheus,  penetrating  to  the  very  heart 
of  the  underworld,  so  charmed  Pluto  and  Persephone  with  the  beauty  of  his  music  that  they  agreed  to 
permit  Eurydice  to  return  to  life  if  Orpheus  could  lead  her  back  to  the  sphere  of  the  living  without 
once  looking  round  to  see  if  she  were  following.  So  great  was  his  fear,  however,  that  she  would  stray 
from  him  that  he  turned  his  head,  and  Eurydice  with  a  heartbroken  cry  was  swept  back  into  the  land 
of  death. 

Orpheus  wandered  the  earth  for  a  while  disconsolate,  and  there  are  several  conflicting  accounts  of  the 

manner  of  his  death.  Some  declare  that  he  was  slain  by  a  bolt  of  lightning;  others,  that  failing  to  save 
his  beloved  Eurydice,  he  committed  suicide.  The  generally  accepted  version  of  his  death,  however,  is 
that  he  was  torn  to  pieces  by  Ciconian  women  whose  advances  he  had  spurned.  In  the  tenth  book  of 
Plato's  Republic  it  is  declared  that,  because  of  his  sad  fate  at  the  hands  of  women,  the  soul  that  had 
once  been  Orpheus,  upon  being  destined  to  live  again  in  the  physical  world,  chose  rather  to  return  in 
the  body  of  a  swan  than  be  born  of  woman.  The  head  of  Orpheus,  after  being  torn  from  his  body,  was 
cast  with  his  lyre  into  the  river  Hebrus,  down  which  it  floated  to  the  sea,  where,  wedging  in  a  cleft  in  a 
rock,  it  gave  oracles  for  many  years.  The  lyre,  after  being  stolen  from  its  shrine  and  working  the 
destruction  of  the  thief,  was  picked  up  by  the  gods  and  fashioned  into  a  constellation. 

Orpheus  has  long  been  sung  as  the  patron  of  music.  On  his  seven-stringed  lyre  he  played  such  perfect 
harmonies  that  the  gods  themselves  were  moved  to  acclaim  his  power.  When  he  touched  the  strings 
of  his  instrument  the  birds  and  beasts  gathered  about  him,  and  as  he  wandered  through  the  forests 
his  enchanting  melodies  caused  even  the  ancient  trees  with  mighty  effort  to  draw  their  gnarled  roots 
from  out  the  earth  and  follow  him.  Orpheus  is  one  of  the  many  Immortals  who  have  sacrificed 
themselves  that  mankind  might  have  the  wisdom  of  the  gods.  By  the  symbolism  of  his  music  he 
communicated  the  divine  secrets  to  humanity,  and  several  authors  have  declared  that  the  gods, 
though  loving  him,  feared  that  he  would  overthrow  their  kingdom  and  therefore  reluctantly 
encompassed  his  destruction. 

As  time  passed  on  the  historical  Orpheus  became  hopelessly  confounded  with  the  doctrine  he 
represented  and  eventually  became  the  symbol  of  the  Greek  school  of  the  ancient  wisdom.  Thus 
Orpheus  was  declared  to  be  the  son  of  Apollo,  the  divine  and  perfect  truth,  and  Calliope,  the  Muse  of 
harmony  and  rhythm.  In  other  words,  Orpheus  is  the  secret  doctrine  (Apollo)  revealed  through  music 
(Calliope).  Eurydice  is  humanity  dead  from  the  sting  of  the  serpent  of  false  knowledge  and 
imprisoned  in  the  underworld  of  ignorance.  In  this  allegory  Orpheus  signifies  theology,  which  wins 
her  from  the  king  of  the  dead  but  fails  to  accomplish  her  resurrection  because  it  falsely  estimates  and 
mistrusts  the  innate  understanding  within  the  human  soul.  The  Ciconian  women  who  tore  Orpheus 

limb  from  limb  symbolize  the  various  contending  theological  factions  which  destroy  the  body  of  Truth. 
They  cannot  accomplish  this,  however,  until  their  discordant  cries  drown  out  the  harmony  drawn  by 
Orpheus  from  his  magic  lyre.  The  head  of  Orpheus  signifies  the  esoteric  doctrines  of  his  cult.  These 
doctrines  continue  to  live  and  speak  even  after  his  body  (the  cult)  has  been  destroyed.  The  lyre  is  the 
secret  teaching  of  Orpheus;  the  seven  strings  are  the  seven  divine  truths  which  are  the  keys  to 
universal  knowledge.  The  differing  accounts  of  his  death  represent  the  various  means  used  to  destroy 
the  secret  teachings:  wisdom  can  die  in  many  ways  at  the  same  time.  The  allegory  of  Orpheus 
incarnating  in  the  white  swan  merely  signifies  that  the  spiritual  truths  he  promulgated  will  continue 
and  will  be  taught  by  the  illumined  initiates  of  all  future  ages.  The  swan  is  the  symbol  of  the  initiates 
of  the  Mysteries;  it  is  a  symbol  also  of  the  divine  power  which  is  the  progenitor  of  the  world. 


The  Bacchic  Rite  centers  around  the  allegory  of  the  youthful  Bacchus  (Dionysos  or  Zagreus)  being 
torn  to  pieces  by  the  Titans.  These  giants  accomplished  the  destruction  of  Bacchus  by  causing  him  to 
become  fascinated  by  his  own  image  in  a  mirror.  After  dismembering  him,  the  Titans  first  boiled  the 
pieces  in  water  and  afterwards  roasted  them.  Pallas  rescued  the  heart  of  the  murdered  god,  and  by 
this  precaution  Bacchus  (Dionysos)  was  enabled  to  spring  forth  again  in  all  his  former  glory.  Jupiter, 
the  Demiurgus,  beholding  the  crime  of  the  Titans,  hurled  his  thunderbolts  and  slew  them,  burning 
their  bodies  to  ashes  with  heavenly  fire.  Our  of  the  ashes  of  the  Titans—which  also  contained  a 
portion  of  the  flesh  of  Bacchus,  whose  body  they  had  partly  devoured—the  human  race  was  created. 
Thus  the  mundane  life  of  every  man  was  said  to  contain  a  portion  of  the  Bacchic  life. 

For  this  reason  the  Greek  Mysteries  warned  against  suicide.  He  who  attempts  to  destroy  himself 
raises  his  hand  against  the  nature  of  Bacchus  within  him,  since  man's  body  is  indirectly  the  tomb  of 
this  god  and  consequently  must  be  preserved  with  the  greatest  care. 

Bacchus  (Dionysos)  represents  the  rational  soul  of  the  inferior  world.  He  is  the  chief  of  the  Titans— 
the  artificers  of  the  mundane  spheres.  The  Pythagoreans  called  him  the  Titanic  monad.  Thus  Bacchus 
is  the  all-inclusive  idea  of  the  Titanic  sphere  and  the  Titans— or  gods  of  the  fragments— the  active 
agencies  by  means  of  which  universal  substance  is  fashioned  into  the  pattern  of  this  idea.  The  Bacchic 
state  signifies  the  unity  of  the  rational  soul  in  a  state  of  self-knowledge,  and  the  Titanic  state  the 
diversity  of  the  rational  soul  which,  being  scattered  throughout  creation,  loses  the  consciousness  of  its 
own  essential  one-ness.  The  mirror  into  which  Bacchus  gazes  and  which  is  the  cause  of  his  fall  is  the 
great  sea  of  illusion— the  lower  world  fashioned  by  the  Titans.  Bacchus  (the  mundane  rational  soul), 
seeing  his  image  before  him,  accepts  the  image  as  a  likeness  of  himself  and  ensouls  the  likeness;  that 
is,  the  rational  idea  ensouls  its  reflection— the  irrational  universe.  By  ensouling  the  irrational  image  it 
implants  in  it  the  urge  to  become  like  its  source,  the  rational  image.  Therefore  the  ancients  said  that 
man  does  not  know  the  gods  by  logic  or  by  reason  but  rather  by  realizing  the  presence  of  the  gods 
within  himself. 

After  Bacchus  gazed  into  the  mirror  and  followed  his  own  reflection  into  matter,  the  rational  soul  of 
the  world  was  broken  up  and  distributed  by  the  Titans  throughout  the  mundane  sphere  of  which  it  is 
the  essential  nature,  but  the  heart,  or  source,  of  it  they  could  not:  scatter.  The  Titans  took  the 
dismembered  body  of  Bacchus  and  boiled  it  in  water— symbol  of  immersion  in  the  material  universe— 
which  represents  the  incorporation  of  the  Bacchic  principle  in  form.  The  pieces  were  afterwards 
roasted  to  signify  the  subsequent  ascension  of  the  spiritual  nature  out  of  form. 

When  Jupiter,  the  father  of  Bacchus  and  the  Demiurgus  of  the  universe,  saw  that  the  Titans  were 
hopelessly  involving  the  rational  or  divine  idea  by  scattering  its  members  through  the  constituent 
parts  of  the  lower  world,  he  slew  the  Titans  in  order  that  the  divine  idea  might  not  be  entirely  lost. 
From  the  ashes  of  the  Titans  he  formed  mankind,  whose  purpose  of  existence  was  to  preserve  and 
eventually  to  release  the  Bacchic  idea,  or  rational  soul,  from  the  Titanic  fabrication.  Jupiter,  being  the 

Demiurgus  and  fabricator  of  the  material  universe,  is  the  third  person  of  the  Creative  Triad, 

consequently  the  Lord  of  Death,  for  death  exists  only  in  the  lower  sphere  of  being  over  which  he 
presides.  Disintegration  takes  place  so  that  reintegration  may  follow  upon  a  higher  level  of  form  or 
intelligence.  The  thunderbolts  of  Jupiter  are  emblematic  of  his  disintegrative  power;  they  reveal  the 
purpose  of  death,  which  is  to  rescue  the  rational  soul  from  the  devouring  power  of  the  irrational 

Man  is  a  composite  creature,  his  lower  nature  consisting  of  the  fragments  of  the  Titans  and  his  higher 
nature  the  sacred,  immortal  flesh  (life)  of  Bacchus.  Therefore  man  is  capable  of  either  a  Titanic 
(irrational)  or  a  Bacchic  (rational)  existence.  The  Titans  of  Hesiod,  who  were  twelve  in  number,  are 
probably  analogous  to  the  celestial  zodiac,  whereas  the  Titans  who  murdered  and  dismembered 
Bacchus  represent  the  zodiacal  powers  distorted  by  their  involvement  in  the  material  world.  Thus 
Bacchus  represents  the  sun  who  is  dismembered  by  the  signs  of  the  zodiac  and  from  whose  body  the 
universe  is  formed.  When  the  terrestrial  forms  were  created  from  the  various  parts  of  his  body  the 
sense  of  wholeness  was  lost  and  the  sense  of  separateness  established.  The  heart  of  Bacchus,  which 
was  saved  by  Pallas,  or  Minerva,  was  lifted  out  of  the  four  elements  symbolized  by  his  dismembered 
body  and  placed  in  the  ether.  The  heart  of  Bacchus  is  the  immortal  center  of  the  rational  soul. 

After  the  rational  soul  had  been  distributed  throughout  creation  and  the  nature  of  man,  the  Bacchic 
Mysteries  were  instituted  for  the  purpose  of  disentangling  it  from  the  irrational  Titanic  nature.  This 
disentanglement  was  the  process  of  lifting  the  soul  out  of  the  state  of  separateness  into  that  of  unity. 
The  various  parts  and  members  of  Bacchus  were  collected  from  the  different  corners  of  the  earth. 
When  all  the  rational  parts  are  gathered  Bacchus  is  resurrected. 

The  Rites  of  Dionysos  were  very  similar  to  those  of  Bacchus,  and  by  many  these  two  gods  are 
considered  as  one.  Statues  of  Dionysos  were  carried  in  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  especially  the  lesser 
degrees.  Bacchus,  representing  the  soul  of  the  mundane  sphere,  was  capable  of  an  infinite  multiplicity 
of  form  and  designations.  Dionysos  apparently  was  his  solar  aspect. 

The  Dionysiac  Architects  constituted  an  ancient  secret  society,  in  principles  and  doctrines  much  like 
the  modern  Freemasonic  Order.  They  were  an  organization  of  builders  bound  together  by  their  secret 
knowledge  of  the  relationship  between  the  earthly  and  the  divine  sciences  of  architectonics.  They 
were  supposedly  employed  by  King  Solomon  in  the  building  of  his  Temple,  although  they  were  not 
Jews,  nor  did  they  worship  the  God  of  the  Jews,  being  followers  of  Bacchus  and  Dionysos.  The 
Dionysiac  Architects  erected  many  of  the  great  monuments  of  antiquity.  They  possessed  a  secret 
language  and  a  system  of  marking  their  stones.  They  had  annual  convocations  and  sacred  feasts.  The 
exact  nature  of  their  doctrines  is  unknown.  It  is  believed  that  CHiram  Abiff  was  an  initiate  of  this 

Atlantis  and  the  Gods  of  Antiquity 

p.  33 

ATLANTIS  is  the  subject  of  a  short  but  important  article  appearing  in  the  Annual  Report  of  the  Board 
of  Regents  of  The  Smithsonian  Institution  for  the  year  ending  June  30th,  1915.  The  author,  M.  Pierre 
Termier,  a  member  of  the  Academy  of  Sciences  and  Director  of  Service  of  the  Geologic  Chart  of 
France,  in  1912  delivered  a  lecture  on  the  Atlantean  hypothesis  before  the  Institut  Oceanographique; 
it  is  the  translated  notes  of  this  remarkable  lecture  that  are  published  in  the  Smithsonian  report. 

"After  a  long  period  of  disdainful  indifference,"  writes  M.  Termier,  "observe  how^  in  the  last  few  years 
science  is  returning  to  the  study  of  Atlantis.  How  many  naturalists,  geologists,  zoologists,  or  botanists 
are  asking  one  another  today  whether  Plato  has  not  transmitted  to  us,  with  slight  amplification,  a 
page  from  the  actual  history  of  mankind.  No  affirmation  is  yet  permissible;  but  it  seems  more  and 
more  evident  that  a  vast  region,  continental  or  made  up  of  great  islands,  has  collapsed  west  of  the 
Pillars  of  Hercules,  otherwise  called  the  Strait  of  Gibraltar,  and  that  its  collapse  occurred  in  the  not 
far  distant  past.  In  any  event,  the  question  of  Atlantis  is  placed  anew  before  men  of  science;  and  since 
I  do  not  believe  that  it  can  ever  be  solved  without  the  aid  of  oceanography,  I  have  thought  it  natural  to 
discuss  it  here,  in  this  temple  of  maritime  science,  and  to  call  to  such  a  problem,  long  scorned  but 
now  being  revived,  the  attention  of  oceanographers,  as  well  as  the  attention  of  those  who,  though 
immersed  in  the  tumult  of  cities,  lend  an  ear  to  the  distant  murmur  of  the  sea." 

In  his  lecture  M.  Termier  presents  geologic,  geographic,  and  zoologic  data  in  substantiation  of  the 
Atlantis  theory.  Figuratively  draining  the  entire  bed  of  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  he  considers  the 
inequalities  of  its  basin  and  cites  locations  on  a  line  from  the  Azores  to  Iceland  where  dredging  has 
brought  lava  to  the  surface  from  a  depth  of  3,000  meters.  The  volcanic  nature  of  the  islands  now 
existing  in  the  Atlantic  Ocean  corroborates  Plato's  statement  that  the  Atlantean  continent  was 
destroyed  by  volcanic  cataclysms.  M.  Termier  also  advances  the  conclusions  of  a  young  French 
zoologist,  M.  Louis  Germain,  who  admitted  the  existence  of  an  Atlantic  continent  connected  with  the 
Iberian  Peninsula  and  with  Mauritania  and  prolonged  toward  the  south  so  as  to  include  some  regions 
of  desert  climate.  M.  Termier  concludes  his  lecture  with  a  graphic  picture  of  the  engulfment  of  that 

The  description  of  the  Atlantean  civilization  given  by  Plato  in  the  Critias  may  be  summarized  as 
follows.  In  the  first  ages  the  gods  divided  the  earth  among  themselves,  proportioning  it  according  to 
their  respective  dignities.  Each  became  the  peculiar  deity  of  his  ovm  allotment  and  established 
therein  temples  to  himself,  ordained  a  priestcraft,  and  instituted  a  system  of  sacrifice.  To  Poseidon 
was  given  the  sea  and  the  island  continent  of  Atlantis.  In  the  midst  of  the  island  was  a  mountain 
which  was  the  dwelling  place  of  three  earth-born  primitive  human  beings—Evenor;  his  wife,  Leucipe; 
and  their  only  daughter,  Cleito.  The  maiden  was  very  beautiful,  and  after  the  sudden  death  of  her 
parents  she  was  wooed  by  Poseidon,  who  begat  by  her  five  pairs  of  male  children.  Poseidon 
apportioned  his  continent  among  these  ten,  and  Atlas,  the  eldest,  he  made  overlord  of  the  other  nine. 
Poseidon  further  called  the  country  Atlantis  and  the  surrounding  sea  the  Atlantic  in  honor  of  Atlas. 
Before  the  birth  of  his  ten  sons,  Poseidon  divided  the  continent  and  the  coastwise  sea  into  concentric 
zones  of  land  and  water,  which  were  as  perfect  as  though  turned  upon  a  lathe.  Two  zones  of  land  and 
three  of  water  surrounded  the  central  island,  which  Poseidon  caused  to  be  irrigated  with  two  springs 
of  water—one  warm  and  the  other  cold. 

The  descendants  of  Atlas  continued  as  rulers  of  Atlantis,  and  with  wise  government  and  industry 
elevated  the  country  to  a  position  of  surpassing  dignity.  The  natural  resources  of  Atlantis  were 
apparently  limitless.  Precious  metals  were  mined,  wild  animals  domesticated,  and  perfumes  distilled 
from  its  fragrant  flowers.  While  enjoying  the  abundance  natural  to  their  semitropic  location,  the 

Atlanteans  employed  themselves  also  in  the  erection  of  palaces,  temples,  and  docks.  They  bridged  the 

zones  of  sea  and  later  dug  a  deep  canal  to  connect  the  outer  ocean  with  the  central  island,  where  stood 
the  palaces  And  temple  of  Poseidon,  which  excelled  all  other  structures  in  magnificence.  A  network  of 
bridges  and  canals  was  created  by  the  Atlanteans  to  unite  the  various  parts  of  their  kingdom. 

Plato  then  describes  the  white,  black,  and  red  stones  which  they  quarried  from  beneath  their 
continent  and  used  in  the  construction  of  public  buildings  and  docks.  They  circumscribed  each  of  the 
land  zones  with  a  wall,  the  outer  wall  being  covered  with  brass,  the  middle  with  tin,  and  the  inner, 
which  encompassed  the  citadel,  with  orichalch.  The  citadel,  on  the  central  island,  contained  the  pal 
aces,  temples,  and  other  public  buildings.  In  its  center,  surrounded  by  a  wall  of  gold,  was  a  sanctuary 
dedicated  to  Cleito  and  Poseidon.  Here  the  first  ten  princes  of  the  island  were  born  and  here  each  year 
their  descendants  brought  offerings.  Poseidon's  own  temple,  its  exterior  entirely  covered  with  silver 
and  its  pinnacles  with  gold,  also  stood  within  the  citadel.  The  interior  of  the  temple  was  of  ivory,  gold, 
silver,  and  orichalch,  even  to  the  pillars  and  floor.  The  temple  contained  a  colossal  statue  of  Poseidon 
standing  in  a  chariot  drawn  by  six  winged  horses,  about  him  a  hundred  Nereids  riding  on  dolphins. 
Arranged  outside  the  building  were  golden  statues  of  the  first  ten  kings  and  their  wives. 

In  the  groves  and  gardens  were  hot  and  cold  springs.  There  were  numerous  temples  to  various  deities, 
places  of  exercise  for  men  and  for  beasts,  public  baths,  and  a  great  race  course  for  horses.  At  various 
vantage  points  on  the  zones  were  fortifications,  and  to  the  great  harbor  came  vessels  from  every 
maritime  nation.  The  zones  were  so  thickly  populated  that  the  sound  of  human  voices  was  ever  in  the 

That  part  of  Atlantis  facing  the  sea  was  described  as  lofty  and  precipitous,  but  about  the  central  city 
was  a  plain  sheltered  by  mountains  renowned  for  their  size,  number,  and  beauty.  The  plain  yielded 
two  crops  each  year,,  in  the  winter  being  watered  by  rains  and  in  the  summer  by  immense  irrigation 
canals,  which  were  also  used  for  transportation.  The  plain  was  divided  into  sections,  and  in  time  of 
war  each  section  supplied  its  quota  of  fighting  men  and  chariots. 

The  ten  governments  differed  from  each  other  in  details  concerning  military  requirements.  Each  of 
the  kings  of  Atlantis  had  complete  control  over  his  own  kingdom,  but  their  mutual  relationships  were 
governed  by  a  code  engraved  by  the  first  ten  kings  on  a  column'  of  orichalch  standing  in  the  temple  of 
Poseidon.  At  alternate  intervals  of  five  and  six  years  a  pilgrimage  was  made  to  this  temple  that  equal 
honor  might  be  conferred  upon  both  the  odd  and  the  even  numbers.  Here,  with  appropriate  sacrifice, 
each  king  renewed  his 


From  Cartari's  Imagini  degli  Dei  degli  Antichi. 

By  ascending  successively  through  the  fiery  sphere  of  Hades,  the  spheres  of  water,  Earth,  and  air,  and  the  heavens  of  the 
moon,  the  plane  of  Mercury  is  reached.  Above  Mercury  are  the  planes  of  Venus,  the  sun.  Mars,  Jupiter,  and  Saturn,  the 
latter  containing  the  symbols  of  the  Zodiacal  constellations.  Above  the  arch  of  the  heavens  (Saturn)  is  the  dwelling  Place 
of  the  different  powers  controlling  the  universe.  The  supreme  council  of  the  gods  is  composed  of  twelve  deities—six  male 
and  six  female—which  correspond  to  the  positive  and  negative  signs  of  the  zodiac.  The  six  gods  are  Jupiter,  Vulcan,  Apollo, 
Mars,  Neptune,  and  Mercury;  the  six  goddesses  are  Juno,  Ceres,  Vesta,  Minerva,  Venus,  and  Diana.  Jupiter  rides  his  eagle 
as  the  symbol  of  his  sovereignty  over  the  world,  and  Juno  is  seated  upon  a  peacock,  the  proper  symbol  of  her  haughtiness 
and  glory. 

P-  34 

oath  of  loyalty  upon  the  sacred  inscription.  Here  also  the  kings  donned  azure  robes  and  sat  in 
judgment.  At  daybreak  they  v^rote  their  sentences  upon  a  golden  tablet:  and  deposited  them  with 
their  robes  as  memorials.  The  chief  laws  of  the  Atlantean  kings  were  that  they  should  not  take  up 
arms  against  each  other  and  that  they  should  come  to  the  assistance  of  any  of  their  number  who  was 
attacked.  In  matters  of  war  and  great  moment  the  final  decision  was  in  the  hands  of  the  direct 
descendants  of  the  family  of  Atlas.  No  king  had  the  power  of  life  and  death  over  his  kinsmen  without 
the  assent  of  a  majority  of  the  ten. 

Plato  concludes  his  description  by  declaring  that  it  was  this  great  empire  which  attacked  the  Hellenic 

states.  This  did  not  occur,  however,  until  their  power  and  glory  had  lured  the  Atlantean  kings  from 
the  pathway  of  wisdom  and  virtue.  Filled  with  false  ambition,  the  rulers  of  Atlantis  determined  to 
conquer  the  entire  world.  Zeus,  perceiving  the  wickedness  of  the  Atlanteans,  gathered  the  gods  into 
his  holy  habitation  and  addressed  them.  Here  Plato's  narrative  comes  to  an  abrupt  end,  for  the  Critias 
was  never  finished.  In  the  Timgeus  is  a  further  description  of  Atlantis,  supposedly  given  to  Solon  by  an 
Egyptian  priest  and  which  concludes  as  follows: 

"But  afterwards  there  occurred  violent  earthquakes  and  floods;  and  in  a  single  day  and  night  of  rain 
all  your  warlike  men  in  a  body  sank  into  the  earth,  and  the  island  of  Atlantis  in  like  manner 
disappeared,  and  was  sunk  beneath  the  sea.  And  that  is  the  reason  why  the  sea  in  those  parts  is 
impassable  and  impenetrable,  because  there  is  such  a  quantity  of  shallow  mud  in  the  way;  and  this 
was  caused  by  the  subsidence  of  the  island." 

In  the  introduction  to  his  translation  of  the  Timgeus,  Thomas  Taylor  quotes  from  a  History  of 
Ethiopia  written  by  Marcellus,  which  contains  the  following  reference  to  Atlantis:  "For  they  relate 
that  in  their  time  there  were  seven  islands  in  the  Atlantic  sea,  sacred  to  Proserpine;  and  besides  these, 
three  others  of  an  immense  magnitude;  one  of  which  was  sacred  to  Pluto,  another  to  Ammon,  and 
another,  which  is  the  middle  of  these,  and  is  of  a  thousand  stadia,  to  Neptune."  Grantor,  commenting 
upon  Plato,  asserted  that  the  Egyptian  priests  declared  the  story  of  Atlantis  to  be  written  upon  pillars 
which  were  still  preserved  circa  300  B.C.  (See  Beginnings  or  Glimpses  of  Vanished  Civilizations.) 
Ignatius  Donnelly,  who  gave  the  subject  of  Atlantis  profound  study,  believed  that  horses  were  first 
domesticated  by  the  Atlanteans,  for  which  reason  they  have  always  been  considered  peculiarly  sacred 
to  Poseidon.  {See  Atlantis.) 

From  a  careful  consideration  of  Plato's  description  of  Atlantis  it  is  evident  that  the  story  should  not  be 

regarded  as  wholly  historical  but  rather  as  both  allegorical  and  historical.  Origen,  Porphyry,  Proclus, 
lamblichus,  and  Syrianus  realized  that  the  story  concealed  a  profound  philosophical  mystery,  but 
they  disagreed  as  to  the  actual  interpretation.  Plato's  Atlantis  symbolizes  the  threefold  nature  of  both 
the  universe  and  the  human  body.  The  ten  kings  of  Atlantis  are  the  tetractys,  or  numbers,  which  are 
born  as  five  pairs  of  opposites.  (Consult  Theon  of  Smyrna  for  the  Pythagorean  doctrine  of  opposites.) 
The  numbers  1  to  10  rule  every  creature,  and  the  numbers,  in  turn,  are  under  the  control  of  the 
Monad,  or  i~the  Eldest  among  them. 

With  the  trident  scepter  of  Poseidon  these  kings  held  sway  over  the  inhabitants  of  the  seven  small  and 
three  great  islands  comprising  Atlantis.  Philosophically,  the  ten  islands  symbolize  the  triune  powers 
of  the  Superior  Deity  and  the  seven  regents  who  bow  before  His  eternal  throne.  If  Atlantis  be 
considered  as  the  archetypal  sphere,  then  its  immersion  signifies  the  descent  of  rational,  organized 
consciousness  into  the  illusionary,  impermanent  realm  of  irrational,  mortal  ignorance.  Both  the 
sinking  of  Atlantis  and  the  Biblical  story  of  the  "fall  of  man"  signify  spiritual  involution—a 
prerequisite  to  conscious  evolution. 

Either  the  initiated  Plato  used  the  Atlantis  allegory  to  achieve  two  widely  different  ends  or  else  the 
accounts  preserved  by  the  Egyptian  priests  were  tampered  with  to  perpetuate  the  secret  doctrine. 
This  does  not  mean  to  imply  that  Atlantis  is  purely  mythological,  but  it  overcomes  the  most  serious 
obstacle  to  acceptance  of  the  Atlantis  theory,  namely,  the  fantastic  accounts  of  its  origin,  size, 
appearance,  and  date  of  destruction~96oo  B.C.  In  the  midst  of  the  central  island  of  Atlantis  was  a 
lofty  mountain  which  cast  a  shadow  five  thousand  stadia  in  extent  and  whose  summit  touched  the 
sphere  of  aether.  This  is  the  axle  mountain  of  the  world,  sacred  among  many  races  and  symbolic  of  the 
human  head,  which  rises  out  of  the  four  elements  of  the  body.  This  sacred  mountain,  upon  whose 
summit  stood  the  temple  of  the  gods,  gave  rise  to  the  stories  of  Olympus,  Meru,  and  Asgard.  The  City 
of  the  Golden  Gates—the  capital  of  Atlantis— is  the  one  now  preserved  among  numerous  religions  as 

the  City  of  the  Gods  or  the  Holy  City.  Here  is  the  archetype  of  the  New  Jerusalem,  with  its  streets 
paved  with  gold  and  its  twelve  gates  shining  with  precious  stones. 

"The  history  of  Atlantis,"  writes  Ignatius  Donnelly,  "is  the  key  of  the  Greek  mythology.  There  can  be 
no  question  that  these  gods  of  Greece  were  human  beings.  The  tendency  to  attach  divine  attributes  to 
great  earthly  rulers  is  one  deeply  implanted  in  human  nature."  (See  Atlantis.) 

The  same  author  sustains  his  views  by  noting  that  the  deities  of  the  Greek  pantheon  were  nor  looked 
upon  as  creators  of  the  universe  but  rather  as  regents  set  over  it  by  its  more  ancient  original 
fabricators.  The  Garden  of  Eden  from  which  humanity  was  driven  by  a  flaming  sword  is  perhaps  an 
allusion  to  the  earthly  paradise  supposedly  located  west  of  the  Pillars  of  Hercules  and  destroyed  by 
volcanic  cataclysms.  The  Deluge  legend  may  be  traced  also  to  the  Atlantean  inundation,  during  which 
a  "world"  was  destroyed  by  water.. 

Was  the  religious,  philosophic,  and  scientific  knowledge  possessed  by  the  priestcrafts  of  antiquity 
secured  from  Atlantis,  whose  submergence  obliterated  every  vestige  of  its  part  in  the  drama  of  world 
progress?  Atlantean  sun  worship  has  been  perpetuated  in  the  ritualism  and  ceremonialism  of  both 
Christianity  and  pagandom.  Both  the  cross  and  the  serpent  were  Atlantean  emblems  of  divine 
wisdom.  The  divine  (Atlantean)  progenitors  of  the  Mayas  and  Quiches  of  Central  America  coexisted 
within  the  green  and  azure  radiance  of  Gucumatz,  the  "plumed"  serpent.  The  six  sky-born  sages  came 
into  manifestation  as  centers  of  light  bound  together  or  synthesized  by  the  seventh—and  chief —of 
their  order,  the  "feathered"  snake.  (See  the  Popol  Vuh.)  The  title  of  "winged"  or  "plumed"  snake  was 
applied  to  Quetzalcoatl,  or  Kukulcan,  the  Central  American  initiate.  The  center  of  the  Atlantean 
Wisdom-Religion  was  presumably  a  great  pyramidal  temple  standing  on  the  brow  of  a  plateau  rising 
in  the  midst  of  the  City  of  the  Golden  Gates.  From  here  the  Initiate-Priests  of  the  Sacred  Feather  went 
forth,  carrying  the  keys  of  Universal  Wisdom  to  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth. 

The  mythologies  of  many  nations  contain  accounts  of  gods  who  "came  out  of  the  sea."  Certain 
shamans  among  the  American  Indians  tell  of  holy  men  dressed  in  birds'  feathers  and  wampum  who 
rose  out  of  the  blue  waters  and  instructed  them  in  the  arts  and  crafts.  Among  the  legends  of  the 
Chaldeans  is  that  of  Cannes,  a  partly  amphibious  creature  who  came  out  of  the  sea  and  taught  the 
savage  peoples  along  the  shore  to  read  and  write,  till  the  soil,  cultivate  herbs  for  healing,  study  the 
stars,  establish  rational  forms  of  government,  and  become  conversant  with  the  sacred  Mysteries. 
Among  the  Mayas,  Quetzalcoatl,  the  Savior-God  (whom  some  Christian  scholars  believe  to  have  been 
St.  Thomas),  issued  from  the  waters  and,  after  instructing  the  people  in  the  essentials  of  civilization, 
rode  out  to  sea  on  a  magic  raft  of  serpents  to  escape  the  wrath  of  the  fierce  god  of  the  Fiery  Mirror, 

May  it  not  have  been  that  these  demigods  of  a  fabulous  age  who,  Esdras-like,  came  out  of  the  sea  were 
Atlantean  priests?  All  that  primitive  man  remembered  of  the  Atlanteans  was  the  glory  of  their  golden 
ornaments,  the  transcendency  of  their  wisdom,  and  the  sanctity  of  their  symbols—the  cross  and  the 
serpent.  That  they  came  in  ships  was  soon  forgotten,  for  untutored  minds  considered  even  boats  as 
supernatural.  Wherever  the  Atlanteans  proselyted  they  erected  pyramids  and  temples  patterned  after 
the  great  sanctuary  in  the  City  of  the  Golden  Gates.  Such  is  the  origin  of  the  pyramids  of  Egypt, 
Mexico,  and  Central  America.  The  mounds  in  Normandy  and  Britain,  as  well  as  those  of  the  American 
Indians,  are  remnants  of  a  similar  culture.  In  the  midst  of  the  Atlantean  program  of  world 
colonization  and  conversion,  the  cataclysms  which  sank  Atlantis  began.  The  Initiate-Priests  of  the 
Sacred  Feather  who  promised  to  come  back  to  their  missionary  settlements  never  returned;  and  after 
the  lapse  of  centuries  tradition  preserved  only  a  fantastic  account  of  gods  who  came  from  a  place 
where  the  sea  now  is. 

H.  P.  Blavatsky  thus  sums  up  the  causes  which  precipitated  the  Atlantean  disaster:  "Under  the  evil 
insinuations  of  their  demon,  Thevetat,  the  Atlantis-race  became  a  nation  of  wicked  magicians.  In 

consequence  of  this,  war  was  declared,  the  story  of  which  would  be  too  long  to  narrate;  its  substance 
maybe  found  in  the  disfigured  allegories  of  the  race  of  Cain,  the  giants,  and  that  of  Noah  and  his 
righteous  family.  The  conflict  came  to  an  end  by  the  submersion  of  the  Atlantis;  which  finds  its 
imitation  in  the  stories  of  the  Babylonian  and  Mosaic  flood:  The  giants  and  magicians  '*  *  *  and  all 
flesh  died  *  *  *  and  every  man.'  All  except  Xisuthrus  and  Noah,  who  are  substantially  identical  with 
the  great  Father  of  the  Thlinkithians  in  the  Popol  Vuh,  or  the  sacred  book  of  the  Guatemaleans,  which 
also  tells  of  his  escaping  in  a  large  boat,  like  the  Hindu  Noah—Vaiswasvata. "  (See  Isis  Unveiled.) 

From  the  Atlanteans  the  world  has  received  not  only  the  heritage  of  arts  and  crafts,  philosophies  and 
sciences,  ethics  and  religions,  but  also  the  heritage  of  hate,  strife,  and  perversion.  The  Atlanteans 
instigated  the  first  war;  and  it  has  been  said  that  all  subsequent  wars  were  fought  in  a  fruitless  effort 
to  justify  the  first  one  and  right  the  wrong  which  it  caused.  Before  Atlantis  sank,  its  spiritually 
illumined  Initiates,  who  realized  that  their  land  was  doomed  because  it  had  departed  from  the  Path  of 
Light,  withdrew  from  the  ill-fated  continent.  Carrying  with  them  the  sacred  and  secret  doctrine,  these 

P-  35 

established  themselves  in  Egypt,  where  they  became  its  first  "divine"  rulers.  Nearly  all  the  great 
cosmologic  myths  forming  the  foundation  of  the  various  sacred  books  of  the  world  are  based  upon  the 
Atlantean  Mystery  rituals. 


The  mjith  of  Tammuz  and  Ishtar  is  one  of  the  earliest  examples  of  the  dying-god  allegory,  probably 
antedating  4000  B.  C.  (See  Babylonia  and  Assyria  by  Lewis  Spence.)  The  imperfect  condition  of  the 
tablets  upon  which  the  legends  are  inscribed  makes  it  impossible  to  secure  more  than  a  fragmentary 
account  of  the  Tammuz  rites.  Being  the  esoteric  god  of  the  sun,  Tammuz  did  not  occupy  a  position 
among  the  first  deities  venerated  by  the  Babylonians,  who  for  lack  of  deeper  knowledge  looked  upon 
him  as  a  god  of  agriculture  or  a  vegetation  spirit.  Originally  he  was  described  as  being  one  of  the 
guardians  of  the  gates  of  the  underworld.  Like  many  other  Savior-Gods,  he  is  referred  to  as  a 
"shepherd"  or  "the  lord  of  the  shepherd  seat."  Tammuz  occupies  the  remarkable  position  of  son  and 
husband  of  Ishtar,  the  Babylonian  and  Assyrian  Mother-goddess.  Ishtar~to  whom  the  planer  Venus 
was  sacred—was  the  most  widely  venerated  deity  of  the  Babylonian  and  Assyrian  pantheon.  She  was 
probably  identical  with  Ashterorh,  Astarte,  and  Aphrodite.  The  story  of  her  descent  into  the 
underworld  in  search  presumably  for  the  sacred  elixir  which  alone  could  restore  Tammuz  to  life  is  the 
key  to  the  ritual  of  her  Mysteries.  Tammuz,  whose  annual  festival  took  place  just  before  the  summer 
solstice,  died  in  midsummer  in  the  ancient  month  which  bore  his  name,  and  was  mourned  with 
elaborate  ceremonies.  The  manner  of  his  death  is  unknown,  but  some  of  the  accusations  made  against 
Ishtar  by  Izdubar  (Nimrod)  would  indicate  that  she,  indirectly  at  least,  had  contributed  to  his  demise. 
The  resurrection  of  Tammuz  was  the  occasion  of  great  rejoicing,  at  which  time  he  was  hailed  as  a 
"redeemer"  of  his  people. 

With  outspread  wings,  Ishtar,  the  daughter  of  Sin  (the  Moon),  sweeps  downward  to  the  gates  of  death. 
The  house  of  darkness—the  dwelling  of  the  god  Irkalla— is  described  as  "the  place  of  no  return."  It  is 
without  light;  the  nourishment  of  those  who  dwell  therein  is  dust  and  their  food  is  mud.  Over  the 
bolts  on  the  door  of  the  house  of  Irkalla  is  scattered  dust,  and  the  keepers  of  the  house  are  covered 
with  feathers  like  birds.  Ishtar  demands  that  the  keepers  open  the  gates,  declaring  that  if  they  do  not 
she  will  shatter  the  doorposts  and  strike  the  hinges  and  raise  up  dead  devourers  of  the  living.  The 
guardians  of  the  gates  beg  her  to  be  patient  while  they  go  to  the  queen  of  Hades  from  whom  they 
secure  permission  to  admit  Ishtar,  but  only  in  the  same  manner  as  all  others  came  to  this  dreary 
house.  Ishtar  thereupon  descends  through  the  seven  gates  which  lead  downward  into  the  depths  of 
the  underworld.  At  the  first  gate  the  great  crown  is  removed  from  her  head,  at  the  second  gate  the 

earrings  from  her  ears,  at  the  third  gate  the  necklace  from  her  neck,  at  the  fourth  gate  the  ornaments 
from  her  breast,  at  the  fifth  gate  the  girdle  from  her  waist,  at  the  sixth  gate  the  bracelets  from  her 
hands  and  feet,  and  at  the  seventh  gate  the  covering  cloak  of  her  body.  Ishtar  remonstrates  as  each 
successive  article  of  apparel  is  taken  from  her,  bur  the  guardian  tells  her  that  this  is  the  experience  of 
all  who  enter  the  somber  domain  of  death.  Enraged  upon  beholding  Ishtar,  the  Mistress  of  Hades 
inflicts  upon  her  all  manner  of  disease  and  imprisons  her  in  the  underworld. 

As  Ishtar  represents  the  spirit  of  fertility,  her  loss  prevents  the  ripening  of  the  crops  and  the  maturing 
of  all  life  upon  the  earth. 

In  this  respect  the  story  parallels  the  legend  of  Persephone.  The  gods,  realizing  that  the  loss  of  Ishtar 
is  disorganizing  all  Nature,  send  a  messenger  to  the  underworld  and  demand  her  release.  The 
Mistress  of  Hades  is  forced  to  comply,  and  the  water  of  life  is  poured  over  Ishtar.  Thus  cured  of  the 
infirmities  inflicted  on  her,  she  retraces  her  way  upward  through  the  seven  gates,  at  each  of  which  she 
is  reinvested  with  the  article  of  apparel  which  the  guardians  had  removed.  (See  The  Chaldean 
Account  of  Genesis.)  No  record  exists  that  Ishtar  secured  the  water  of  life  which  would  have  wrought 
the  resurrection  of  Tammuz. 

The  myth  of  Ishtar  symbolizes  the  descent  of  the  human  spirit  through  the  seven  worlds,  or  spheres  of 
the  sacred  planets,  until  finally,  deprived  of  its  spiritual  adornments,  it  incarnates  in  the  physical 
body~Hades~where  the  mistress  of  that  body  heaps  every  form  of  sorrow  and  misery  upon  the 
imprisoned  consciousness.  The  waters  of  life—the  secret  doctrine—cure  the  diseases  of  ignorance;  and 
the  spirit,  ascending  again  to  its  divine  source,  regains  its  God-given  adornments  as  it  passes  upward 
through  the  rings  of  the  planets. 

Another  Mystery  ritual  among  the  Babylonians  and  Assyrians  was  that  of  Merodach  and  the  Dragon. 

Merodach,  the  creator  of  the  inferior  universe,  slays  a  horrible  monster  and  out  of  her  body  forms  the 
universe.  Here  is  the  probable  source  of  the  so-called  Christian  allegory  of  St.  George  and  the  Dragon. 

The  Mysteries  of  Adonis,  or  Adoni,  were  celebrated  annually  in  many  parts  of  Egypt,  Phcenicia,  and 
Biblos.  The  name  Adonis,  or  Adoni,  means  "Lord"  and  was  a  designation  applied  to  the  sun  and  later 
borrowed  by  the  Jews  as  the  exoteric  name  of  their  God.  Smyrna,  mother  of  Adonis,  was  turned  into  a 
tree  by  the  gods  and  after  a  time  the  bark  burst  open  and  the  infant  Savior  issued  forth.  According  to 
one  account,  he  was  liberated  by  a  wild  boar  which  split  the  wood  of  the  maternal  tree  with  its  tusks. 
Adonis  was  born  at  midnight  of  the  24th  of  December,  and  through  his  unhappy  death  a  Mystery  rite 
was  established  that  wrought  the  salvation  of  his  people.  In  the  Jewish  month  of  Tammuz  (another 
name  for  this  deity)  he  was  gored  to  death  by  a  wild  boar  sent  by  the  god  Ars  (Mars).  The  Adoniasmos 
was  the  ceremony  of  lamenting  the  premature  death  of  the  murdered  god. 

In  Ezekiel  viii.  14,  it  is  written  that  women  were  weeping  for  Tammuz  (Adonis)  at  the  north  gate  of  the 
Lord's  House  in  Jerusalem.  Sir  James  George  Frazer  cites  Jerome  thus:  "He  tells  us  that  Bethlehem, 
the  traditionary  birthplace  of  the  Lord,  was  shaded  by  a  grove  of  that  still  older  Syrian  Lord,  Adonis, 
and  that  where  the  infant  Jesus  had  wept,  the  lover  of  Venus  was  bewailed."  (See  The  Golden  Bough.) 
The  effigy  of  a  wild  boar  is  said  to  have  been  set  over  one  of  the  gates  of  Jerusalem  in  honor  of  Adonis, 
and  his  rites  celebrated  in  the  grotto  of  the  Nativity  at  Bethlehem.  Adonis  as  the  "gored"  (or  "god") 
man  is  one  of  the  keys  to  Sir  Francis  Bacon's  use  of  the  "wild  boar"  in  his  cryptic  symbolism. 

Adonis  was  originally  an  androgynous  deity  who  represented  the  solar  power  which  in  the  winter  was 
destroyed  by  the  evil  principle  of  cold— the  boar.  After  three  days  (months)  in  the  tomb,  Adonis  rose 
triumphant  on  the  25th  day  of  March,  amidst  the  acclamation  of  his  priests  and  followers,  "He  is 
risen!"  Adonis  was  born  out  of  a  myrrh  tree.  Myrrh,  the  symbol  of  death  because  of  its  connection 
with  the  process  of  embalming,  was  one  of  the  gifts  brought  by  the  three  Magi  to  the  manger  of  Jesus. 

In  the  Mysteries  of  Adonis  the  neophyte  passed  through  the  symboUc  death  of  the  god  and,  "raised" 
by  the  priests,  entered  into  the  blessed  state  of  redemption  made  possible  by  the  sufferings  of  Adonis. 
Nearly  all  authors  believe  Adonis  to  have  been  originally  a  vegetation  god  directly  connected  with  the 
growth  and  maturing  of  flowers 

From  Kircher's  CEdipusMgyptiacus. 

The  great  Pan  was  celebrated  as  the  author  and  director  of  the  sacred  dances  which  he  is  supposed  to  have  instituted  to 
symboUze  the  circumambulations  of  the  heavenly  bodies.  Pan  was  a  composite  creature,  the  upper  part —with  the 
exception  of  his  horns—being  human,  and  the  lower  part  in  the  form  of  a  goat.  Pan  is  the  prototype  of  natural  energy  and, 
while  undoubtedly  a  phallic  deity,  should  nor  be  confused  with  Priapus.  The  pipes  of  Pan  signify  the  natural  harmony  of 
the  spheres,  and  the  god  himself  is  a  symbol  of  Saturn  because  this  planet  is  enthroned  in  Capricorn,  whose  emblem  is  a 
goat.  The  Eg)T)tians  were  initiated  into  the  Mysteries  of  Pan,  who  was  regarded  as  a  phase  of  Jupiter,  the  Demiurgus.  Pan 
represented  the  impregnating  power  of  the  sun  and  was  the  chief  of  a  horde  rustic  deities,  and  satyrs.  He  also  signified  the 
controlling  spirit  of  the  lower  worlds.  The  fabricated  a  story  to  the  effect  that  at  the  time  of  the  birth  of  Christ  the  oracles 
were  silenced  after  giving  utterance  to  one  last  cry,  "Great  Pan  is  dead!" 

p-  36 

and  fruits.  In  support  of  this  viewpoint  they  describe  the  "gardens  of  Adonis,  "  which  were  small 
baskets  of  earth  in  which  seeds  were  planted  and  nurtured  for  a  period  of  eight  days.  When  those 
plants  prematurely  died  for  lack  of  sufficient  earth,  they  were  considered  emblematic  of  the  murdered 
Adonis  and  were  usually  cast  into  the  sea  with  images  of  the  god. 

In  Phrygia  there  existed  a  remarkable  school  of  religious  philosophy  which  centered  around  the  life 
and  untimely  fate  of  another  Savior-God  known  as  Atys,  or  Attis,  by  many  considered  synonymous 

with  Adonis.  This  deity  was  born  at  midnight  on  the  24th  day  of  December.  Of  his  death  there  are  two 

accounts.  In  one  he  was  gored  to  death  like  Adonis;  in  the  other  he  emasculated  himself  under  a  pine 
tree  and  there  died.  His  body  was  taken  to  a  cave  by  the  Great  Mother  (Cybele),  where  it  remained 
through  the  ages  without  decaying.  To  the  rites  of  Atys  the  modern  world  is  indebted  for  the 
symbolism  of  the  Christmas  tree.  Atys  imparted  his  immortality  to  the  tree  beneath  which  he  died, 
and  Cybele  took  the  tree  with  her  when  she  removed  the  body.  Atys  remained  three  days  in  the  tomb, 
rose  upon  a  date  corresponding  with  Easter  morn,  and  by  this  resurrection  overcame  death  for  all 
who  were  initiated  into  his  Mysteries. 

"In  the  Mysteries  of  the  Phrygians,  "says  Julius  Firmicus,  "which  are  called  those  of  the  MOTHER  OF 
THE  GODS,  every  year  a  PINE  TREE  is  cut  down  and  in  the  inside  of  the  tree  the  image  of  a  YOUTH 
is  tied  in!  In  the  Mysteries  of  Isis  the  trunk  of  a  PINE  TREE  is  cut:  the  middle  of  the  trunk  is  nicely 
hollowed  out;  the  idol  of  Osiris  made  from  those  hollowed  pieces  is  BURIED.  In  the  Mysteries  of 
Proserpine  a  tree  cut  is  put  together  into  the  effigy  and  form  of  the  VIRGIN,  and  when  it  has  been 
carried  within  the  city  it  is  MOURNED  40  nights,  but  the  fortieth  night  it  is  BURNED!"  (See  Sod,  the 
Mysteries  ofAdoni.) 

The  Mysteries  of  Atys  included  a  sacramental  meal  during  which  the  neophyte  ate  out  of  a  drum  and 
drank  from  a  cymbal.  After  being  baptized  by  the  blood  of  a  bull,  the  new  initiate  was  fed  entirely  on 
milk  to  symbolize  that  he  was  still  a  philosophical  infant,  having  but  recently  been  born  out  of  the 
sphere  of  materiality.  (See  Frazer's  The  Golden  Bough.)  Is  there  a  possible  connection  between  this 
lacteal  diet  prescribed  by  the  Attic  rite  and  St.  Paul's  allusion  to  the  food  for  spiritual  babes?  Sallust 
gives  a  key  to  the  esoteric  interpretation  of  the  Attic  rituals.  Cybele,  the  Great  Mother,  signifies  the 
vivifying  powers  of  the  universe,  and  Atys  that  aspect  of  the  spiritual  intellect  which  is  suspended 
between  the  divine  and  animal  spheres.  The  Mother  of  the  gods,  loving  Atys,  gave  him  a  starry  hat, 
signifying  celestial  powers,  but  Atys  (mankind),  falling  in  love  with  a  nymph  (symbolic  of  the  lower 
animal  propensities),  forfeited  his  divinity  and  lost  his  creative  powers.  It  is  thus  evident  that  Atys 
represents  the  human  consciousness  and  that  his  Mysteries  are  concerned  with  the  reattainment  of 
the  starry  hat.  (See  Sallust  on  the  Gods  and  the  World.) 

The  rites  of  Sabazius  were  very  similar  to  those  of  Bacchus  and  it  is  generally  believed  that  the  two 
deities  are  identical.  Bacchus  was  born  at  Sabazius,  or  Sabaoth,  and  these  names  are  frequently 
assigned  to  him.  The  Sabazian  Mysteries  were  performed  at  night,  and  the  ritual  included  the  drawing 
of  a  live  snake  across  the  breast  of  the  candidate.  Clement  of  Alexandria  writes:  "The  token  of  the 
Sabazian  Mysteries  to  the  initiated  is  'the  deity  gliding  over  the  breast.'"  A  golden  serpent  was  the 
symbol  of  Sabazius  because  this  deity  represented  the  annual  renovation  of  the  world  by  the  solar 
power.  The  Jews  borrowed  the  name  Sabaoth  from  these  Mysteries  and  adopted  it  as  one  of  the 
appellations  of  their  supreme  God.  During  the  time  the  Sabazian  Mysteries  were  celebrated  in  Rome, 
the  cult  gained  many  votaries  and  later  influenced  the  symbolism  of  Christianity. 

The  Cabiric  Mysteries  of  Samothrace  were  renowned  among  the  ancients,  being  next  to  the 
Eleusinian  in  public  esteem.  Herodotus  declares  that  the  Samothracians  received  their  doctrines, 
especially  those  concerning  Mercury,  from  the  Pelasgians.  Little  is  known  concerning  the  Cabiric 
rituals,  for  they  were  enshrouded  in  the  profoundest  secrecy.  Some  regard  the  Cabiri  as  seven  in 
number  and  refer  to  them  as  "the  Seven  Spirits  of  fire  before  the  throne  of  Saturn."  Others  believe  the 
Cabiri  to  be  the  seven  sacred  wanderers,  later  called  the  planets. 

While  a  vast  number  of  deities  are  associated  with  the  Samothracian  Mysteries,  the  ritualistic  drama 
centers  around  four  brothers.  The  first  three—Aschieros,  Achiochersus,  and  Achiochersa—attack  and 
murder  the  fourth—Cashmala  (or  Cadmillus).  Dionysidorus,  however,  identifies  Aschieros  with 
Demeter,  Achiochersus  with  Pluto,  Achiochersa  with  Persephone,  and  Cashmala  with  Hermes. 
Alexander  Wilder  notes  that  in  the  Samothracian  ritual  "Cadmillus  is  made  to  include  the  Theban 
Serpent-god,  Cadmus,  the  Thoth  of  Egypt,  the  Hermes  of  the  Greeks,  and  the  Emeph  or  ^sculapius 

of  the  Alexandrians  and  Phoenicians.  "  Here  again  is  a  repetition  of  the  story  of  Osiris,  Bacchus, 
Adonis,  Balder,  and  Hiram  Abiff.  The  worship  of  Atys  and  Cybele  was  also  involved  in  the 
Samothracian  Mysteries.  In  the  rituals  of  the  Cabiri  is  to  be  traced  a  form  of  pine-tree  worship,  for 
this  tree,  sacred  to  Atys,  was  first  trimmed  into  the  form  of  a  cross  and  then  cut  down  in  honor  of  the 
murdered  god  whose  body  was  discovered  at  its  foot. 

"If  you  wish  to  inspect  the  orgies  of  the  Corybantes, "  writes  Clement,  "Then  know  that,  having  killed 
their  third  brother,  they  covered  the  head  of  the  dead  body  with  a  purple  cloth,  crowned  it,  and 
carrying  it  on  the  point  of  a  spear,  buried  it  under  the  roots  of  Olympus.  These  mysteries  are,  in  short, 
murders  and  funerals.  [This  ante-Nicene  Father  in  his  efforts  to  defame  the  pagan  rites  apparently 
ignores  the  fact  that,  like  the  Cabirian  martyr,  Jesus  Christ  was  foully  betrayed,  tortured,  and  finally 
murdered!]  And  the  priests  Of  these  rites,  who  are  called  kings  of  the  sacred  rites  by  those  whose 
business  it  is  to  name  them,  give  additional  strangeness  to  the  tragic  occurrence,  by  forbidding 
parsley  with  the  roots  from  being  placed  on  the  table,  for  they  think  that  parsley  grew  from  the 
Corybantic  blood  that  flowed  forth;  just  as  the  women,  in  celebrating  the  Thcsmophoria,  abstain  from 
eating  the  seeds  of  the  pomegranate,  which  have  fallen  on  the  ground,  from  the  idea  that 
pomegranates  sprang  from  the  drops  of  the  blood  of  Dionysus.  Those  Corybantes  also  they  call 
Cabiric;  and  the  ceremony  itself  they  announce  as  the  Cabiric  mystery." 

The  Mysteries  of  the  Cabiri  were  divided  into  three  degrees,  the  first  of  which  celebrated  the  death  of 
Cashmala,  at  the  hands  of  his  three  brothers;  the  second,  the  discovery  of  his  mutilated  body,  the 
parts  of  which  had  been  found  and  gathered  after  much  labor;  and  the  third—accompanied  by  great 
rejoicing  and  happiness— his  resurrection  and  the  consequent  salvation  of  the  world.  The  temple  of 
the  Cabiri  at  Samothrace  contained  a  number  of  curious  divinities,  many  of  them  misshapen 
creatures  representing  the  elemental  powers  of  Nature,  possibly  the  Bacchic  Titans.  Children  were 
initiated  into  the  Cabirian  cult  with  the  same  dignity  as  adults,  and  criminals  who  reached  the 
sanctuary  were  safe  from  pursuit.  The  Samothracian  rites  were  particularly  concerned  with 
navigation,  the  Dioscuri— Castor  and  Pollux,  or  the  gods  of  navigation— being  among  those  propitiated 
by  members  of  that  cult.  The  Argonautic  expedition,  listening  to  the  advice  of  Orpheus,  stopped  at  the 
island  of  Samothrace  for  the  purpose  of  having  its  members  initiated  into  the  Cabiric  rites. 

Herodotus  relates  that  when  Cambyses  entered  the  temple  of  the  Cabiri  he  was  unable  to  restrain  his 
mirth  at  seeing  before  him  the  figure  of  a  man  standing  upright  and,  facing  the  man,  the  figure  of  a 
woman  standing  on  her  head.  Had  Cambyses  been  acquainted  with  the  principles  of  divine 
astronomy,  he  would  have  realized  that  he  was  then  in  the  presence  of  the  key  to  universal 
equilibrium.  "T  ask,'  says  Voltaire,  'who  were  these  Hierophants,  these  sacred  Freemasons,  who 
celebrated  their  Ancient  Mysteries  of  Samothracia,  and  whence  came  they  and  their  gods  Cabiri?'" 
(See  Mackey's  Encyclopaedia  of  Freemasonry.)  Clement  speaks  of  the  Mysteries  of  the  Cabiri  as  "the 
sacred  Mystery  of  a  brother  slain  by  his  brethren,"  and  the  "Cabiric  death"  was  one  of  the  secret 
symbols  of  antiquity.  Thus  the  allegory  of  the  Self  murdered  by  the  not-self  is  perpetuated  through 
the  religious  mysticism  of  all  peoples.  The  philosophic  death  and  the  philosophic  resurrection  are  the 
Lesser  and  the  Greater  Mysteries  respectively. 

A  curious  aspect  of  the  dying-god  myth  is  that  of  the  Hanged  Man.  The  most  important  example  of 
this  peculiar  conception  is  found  in  the  Odinic  rituals  where  Odin  hangs  himself  for  nine  nights  from 
the  branches  of  the  World  Tree  and  upon  the  same  occasion  also  pierces  his  own  side  with  the  sacred 
spear.  As  the  result  of  this  great  sacrifice,  Odin,  while  suspended  over  the  depths  of  Nifl-heim, 
discovered  by  meditation  the  runes  or  alphabets  by  which  later  the  records  of  his  people  were 
preserved.  Because  of  this  remarkable  experience,  Odin  is  sometimes  shown  seated  on  a  gallows  tree 
and  he  became  the  patron  deity  of  all  who  died  by  the  noose.  Esoterically,  the  Hanged  Man  is  the 
human  spirit  which  is  suspended  from  heaven  by  a  single  thread.  Wisdom,  not  death,  is  the  reward 
for  this  voluntary  sacrifice  during  which  the  human  soul,  suspended  above  the  world  of  illusion,  and 
meditating  upon  its  unreality,  is  rewarded  by  the  achievement  of  self-realization. 

From  a  consideration  of  all  these  ancient  and  secret  rituals  it  becomes  evident  that  the  mystery  of  the 
dying  god  was  universal  among  the  illumined  and  venerated  colleges  of  the  sacred  teaching.  This 
mystery  has  been  perpetuated  in  Christianity  in  the  crucifixion  and  death  of  the  God-man-Jesus  the 
Christ.  The  secret  import  of  this  world  tragedy  and  the  Universal  Martyr  must  be  rediscovered  if 
Christianity  is  to  reach  the  heights  attained  by  the  pagans  in  the  days  of  their  philosophic  supremacy. 
The  myth  of  the  dying  god  is  the  key  to  both  universal  and  individual  redemption  and  regeneration, 
and  those  who  do  not  comprehend  the  true  nature  of  this  supreme  allegory  are  not  privileged  to 
consider  themselves  either  wise  or  truly  religious. 

P-  37 

The  Life  and  Teachings  of  Thoth  Hermes 


THUNDER  rolled,  lightning  flashed,  the  veil  of  the  Temple  was  rent  from  top  to  bottom.  The 
venerable  initiator,  in  his  robes  of  blue  and  gold,  slowly  raised  his  jeweled  wand  and  pointed  with  it 
into  the  darkness  revealed  by  the  tearing  of  the  silken  curtain:  "Behold  the  Light  of  Egypt! "  The 
candidate,  in  his  plain  white  robe,  gazed  into  the  utter  blackness  framed  by  the  two  great  Lotus- 
headed  columns  between  which  the  veil  had  hung.  As  he  watched,  a  luminous  haze  distributed  itself 
throughout  the  atmosphere  until  the  air  was  a  mass  of  shining  particles.  The  face  of  the  neophyte 
was  illumined  by  the  soft  glow  as  he  scanned  the  shimmering  cloud  for  some  tangible  object.  The 
initiator  spoke  again:  "This  Light  which  ye  behold  is  the  secret  luminance  of  the  Mysteries.  Whence 
it  comes  none  knoweth,  save  the  'Master  of  the  Light. '  Behold  Him!"  Suddenly,  through  the  gleaming 
mist  a  figure  appeared,  surrounded  by  a  flickering  greenish  sheen.  The  initiator  lowered  his  wand 
and,  bowing  his  head,  placed  one  hand  edgewise  against  his  breast  in  humble  salutation.  The 
neophyte  stepped  back  in  awe,  partly  blinded  by  the  glory  of  the  revealed  figure.  Gaining  courage, 
the  youth  gazed  again  at  the  Divine  One.  The  Form  before  him  was  considerably  larger  than  that  of 
a  mortal  man.  The  body  seemed  partly  transparent  so  that  the  heart  and  brain  could  be  seen 
pulsating  and  radiant.  As  the  candidate  watched,  the  heart  changed  into  an  ibis,  and  the  brain  into 
a  fiashing  emerald.  In  Its  hand  this  mysterious  Being  bore  a  winged  rod,  entwined  with  serpents. 
The  aged  initiator,  raising  his  wand,  cried  out  in  a  loud  voice:  "All  hail  Thee,  Thoth  Hermes,  Thrice 
Greatest;  all  hail  Thee,  Prince  of  Men;  all  hail  Thee  who  standeth  upon  the  head  ofTyphon!"At  the 
same  instant  a  lurid  writhing  dragon  appeared— a  hideous  monster,  part  serpent,  part  crocodile, 
and  part  hog.  From  its  mouth  and  nostrils  poured  sheets  offiame  and  horrible  sounds  echoed 
through  the  vaulted  chambers.  Suddenly  Hermes  struck  the  advancing  reptile  with  the  serpent- 
wound  staff  and  with  snarling  cry  the  dragon  fell  over  upon  its  side,  while  the  fiames  about  it 
slowly  died  away.  Hermes  placed  His  foot  upon  the  skull  of  the  vanquished  Typhon.  The  next 
instant,  with  a  blaze  of  unbearable  glory  that  sent  the  neophyte  staggering  backward  against  a 
pillar,  the  immortal  Hermes,  followed  by  streamers  of  greenish  mist,  passed  through  the  chamber 
and  faded  into  nothingness. 


lamblichus  averred  that  Hermes  was  the  author  of  twenty  thousand  books;  Manetho  increased  the 
number  to  more  than  thirty-six  thousand  (see  James  Gardner) —figures  which  make  it  evident  that  a 
soHtary  individual,  even  though  he  be  overshadowed  by  divine  prerogative,  could  scarcely  have 
accomplished  such  a  monumental  labor.  Among  the  arts  and  sciences  which  it  is  affirmed  Hermes 
revealed  to  mankind  were  medicine,  chemistry,  law,  arc,  astrology,  music,  rhetoric.  Magic,  philosophy, 
geography,  mathematics  (especially  geometry),  anatomy,  and  oratory.  Orpheus  was  similarly 
acclaimed  by  the  Greeks. 

In  his  Biographia  Antiqua,  Francis  Barrett  says  of  Hermes:  "*  *  *  if  God  ever  appeared  in  man,  he 
appeared  in  him,  as  is  evident  both  from  his  books  and  his  Pymander;  in  which  works  he  has 

communicated  the  sum  of  the  Abyss,  and  the  divine  knowledge  to  all  posterity;  by  which  he  has 
demonstrated  himself  to  have  been  not  only  an  inspired  divine,  but  also  a  deep  philosopher, 
obtaining  his  wisdom  from  God  and  heavenly  things,  and  not  from  man." 

His  transcendent  learning  caused  Hermes  to  be  identified  with  many  of  the  early  sages  and  prophets. 
In  his  Ancient  Mythology,  Bryant  writes:  "I  have  mentioned  that  Cadmus  was  the  same  as  the 
Egyptian  Thoth;  and  it  is  manifest  from  his  being  Hermes,  and  from  the  invention  of  letters  being 

attributed  to  him.  "  (In  the  chapter  on  the  theory  of  Pythagorean  Mathematics  will  be  found  the  table 
of  the  original  Cadmean  letters.)  Investigators  believe  that  it  was  Hermes  who  was  known  to  the  Jews 
as  "Enoch,"  called  by  Kenealy  the  "Second  Messenger  of  God."  Hermes  was  accepted  into  the 
mythology  of  the  Greeks,  later  becoming  the  Mercury  of  the  Latins.  He  was  revered  through  the  form 
of  the  planet  Mercury  because  this  body  is  nearest  to  the  sun:  Hermes  of  all  creatures  was  nearest  to 
God,  and  became  known  as  the  Messenger  of  the  Gods. 

In  the  Egyptian  drawings  of  him,  Thoth  carries  a  waxen  writing  tablet  and  serves  as  the  recorder 
during  the  weighing  of  the  souls  of  the  dead  in  the  judgment  Hall  of  Osiris~a  ritual  of  great 
significance.  Hermes  is  of  first  importance  to  Masonic  scholars,  because  he  was  the  author  of  the 
Masonic  initiatory  rituals,  which  were  borrowed  from  the  Mysteries  established  by  Hermes.  Nearly  all 
of  the  Masonic  symbols  are  Hermetic  in  character.  Pythagoras  studied  mathematics  with  the 
Egyptians  and  from  them  gained  his  knowledge  of  the  symbolic  geometric  solids.  Hermes  is  also 
revered  for  his  reformation  of  the  calendar  system.  He  increased  the  year  from  360  to  365  days,  thus 
establishing  a  precedent  which  still  prevails.  The  appellation  "Thrice  Greatest"  was  given  to  Hermes 
because  he  was  considered  the  greatest  of  all  philosophers,  the  greatest  of  all  priests,  and  the  greatest 
of  all  kings.  It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  last  poem  of  America's  beloved  poet,  Henry  Wadsworth 
Longfellow,  was  a  lyric  ode  to  Hermes.  (See  Chambers'  Encyclopaedia.) 


On  the  subject  of  the  Hermetic  books,  James  Campbell  Brown,  in  his  History  of  Chemistry,  has 
written:  "Leaving  the  Chaldean  and  earliest  Egyptian  periods,  of  which  we  have  remains  but  no 
record,  and  from  which  no  names  of  either  chemists  or  philosophers  have  come  down  to  us,  we  now 
approach  the  Historic  Period,  when  books  were  written,  not  at  first  upon  parchment  or  paper,  but 
upon  papyrus.  A  series  of  early  Egyptian  books  is  attributed  to  Hermes  Trismegistus,  who  may  have 
been  a  real  savant,  or  may  be  a  personification  of  a  long  succession  of  writers.  *  *  *  He  is  identified  by 
some  with  the  Greek  god  Hermes,  and  the  Egyptian  Thoth  or  Tuti,  who  was  the  moon-god,  and  is 
represented  in  ancient  paintings  as  ibis-headed  with  the  disc  and  crescent  of  the  moon.  The  Egyptians 
regarded  him  as  the  god  of  wisdom,  letters,  and  the  recording  of  time.  It  is  in  consequence  of  the 
great  respect  entertained  for  Hermes  by  the  old  alchemists  that  chemical  writings  were  called 
'hermetic,'  and  that  the  phrase  'hermetically  sealed'  is  still  in  use  to  designate  the  closing  of  a  glass 
vessel  by  fusion,  after  the  manner  of  chemical  manipulators.  We  find  the  same  root  in  the  hermetic 
medicines  of  Paracelsus,  and  the  hermetic  freemasonry  of  the  Middle  Ages." 

Among  the  fragmentary  writings  believed  to  have  come  from  the  stylus  of  Hermes  are  two  famous 
works.  The  first  is  the  Emerald  Table,  and  the  second  is  the  Divine  Pymander,  or,  as  it  is  more 
commonly  called.  The  Shepherd  of  Men,  a  discussion  of  which  follows.  One  outstanding  point  in 
connection  with  Hermes  is  that  he  was  one  of  the  few  philosopher-priests  of  pagandom  upon  whom 
the  early  Christians  did  not  vent  their  spleen.  Some  Church  Fathers  went  so  far  as  to  declare  that 
Hermes  exhibited  many  symptoms  of  intelligence,  and  that  if  he  had  only  been  born  in  a  more 
enlightened  age  so  that  he  might  have  benefited  by  their  instructions  he  would  have  been  a  really 
great  man! 

In  his  Stromata,  Clement  of  Alexandria,  one  of  the  few  chroniclers  of  pagan  lore  whose  writings  have 
been  preserved  to  this  age,  gives  practically  all  the  information  that  is  known  concerning  the  original 
forty-two  books  of  Hermes  and  the  importance  with  which  these  books  were  regarded  by  both  the 
temporal  and  spiritual  powers  of  Egypt.  Clement  describes  one  of  their  ceremonial  processions  as 

"For  the  Egyptians  pursue  a  philosophy  of  their  own.  This  is 


From  Historia  Deorum  Fatidicorum. 

Master  of  all  arts  and  sciences,  perfect  in  all  crafts,  Ruler  of  the  Three  Worlds,  Scribe  of  the  Gods,  and  Keeper  of  the  Books 
of  Life,  Thoth  Hermes  Trismegistus~the  Three  Times  Greatest,  the  "First  Intelligencer"~was  regarded  by  the  ancient 
Egyptians  as  the  embodiment  of  the  Universal  Mind.  While  in  all  probability  there  actually  existed  a  great  sage  and 
educator  by  the  name  of  Hermes,  it  is  impossible  to  extricate  the  historical  man  from  the  mass  of  legendary  accounts 
which  attempt  to  identify  him  with  the  Cosmic  Principle  of  Thought. 

p.  38 

principally  shown  by  their  sacred  ceremonial.  For  first  advances  the  Singer,  bearing  some  one  of  the 
symbols  of  music.  For  they  say  that  he  must  learn  two  of  the  books  of  Hermes,  the  one  of  which 
contains  the  hymns  of  the  gods,  the  second  the  regulations  for  the  king's  life.  And  after  the  Singer 
advances  the  Astrologer,  with  a  horologe  in  his  hand,  and  a  palm,  the  symbols  of  astrology.  He  must 
have  the  astrological  books  of  Hermes,  which  are  four  in  number,  always  in  his  mouth.  Of  these,  one 
is  about  the  order  of  the  fixed  stars  that  are  visible,  and  another  about  the  conjunctions  and  luminous 
appearances  of  the  sun  and  moon;  and  the  rest  respecting  their  risings.  Next  in  order  advances  the 
sacred  Scribe,  with  wings  on  his  head,  and  in  his  hand  a  book  and  rule,  in  which  were  writing  ink  and 
the  reed,  with  which  they  write.  And  he  must  be  acquainted  with  what  are  called  hieroglyphics,  and 
know  about  cosmography  and  geography,  the  position  of  the  sun  and  moon,  and  about  the  five 
planets;  also  the  description  of  Egypt,  and  the  chart  of  the  Nile;  and  the  description  of  the  equipment 
of  the  priests  and  of  the  place  consecrated  to  them,  and  about  the  measures  and  the  things  in  use  in 
the  sacred  rites.  Then  the  Stole-keeper  follows  those  previously  mentioned,  with  the  cubit  of  justice 
and  the  cup  for  libations.  He  is  acquainted  with  all  points  called  Pgedeutic  (relating  to  training)  and 
Moschophaltic  (sacrificial).  There  are  also  ten  books  which  relate  to  the  honour  paid  by  them  to  their 
gods,  and  containing  the  Egyptian  worship;  as  that  relating  to  sacrifices,  first-fruits,  hymns,  prayers, 
processions,  festivals,  and  the  like.  And  behind  all  walks  the  Prophet,  with  the  water-vase  carried 
openly  in  his  arms;  who  is  followed  by  those  who  carry  the  issue  of  loaves.  He,  as  being  the  governor 
of  the  temple,  learns  the  ten  books  called  'Hieratic';  and  they  contain  all  about  the  laws,  and  the  gods, 
and  the  whole  of  the  training  of  the  priests.  For  the  Prophet  is,  among  the  Egyptians,  also  over  the 
distribution  of  the  revenues.  There  are  then  forty-two  books  of  Hermes  indispensably  necessary;  of 

which  the  six-and-thirty  containing  the  whole  philosophy  of  the  Egyptians  are  learned  by  the 

forementioned  personages;  and  the  other  six,  which  are  medical,  by  the  Pastophoroi  (image- 
bearers), —treating  of  the  structure  of  the  body,  and  of  disease,  and  instruments,  and  medicines,  and 
about  the  eyes,  and  the  last  about  women. 

One  of  the  greatest  tragedies  of  the  philosophic  world  was  the  loss  of  nearly  all  of  the  forty-two  books 
of  Hermes  mentioned  in  the  foregoing.  These  books  disappeared  during  the  burning  of  Alexandria, 
for  the  Romans—and  later  the  Christians— realized  that  until  these  books  were  eliminated  they  could 
never  bring  the  Egyptians  into  subjection.  The  volumes  which  escaped  the  fire  were  buried  in  the 
desert  and  their  location  is  now  known  to  only  a  few  initiates  of  the  secret  schools. 


While  Hermes  still  walked  the  earth  with  men,  he  entrusted  to  his  chosen  successors  the  sacred  Book 
ofThoth.  This  work  contained  the  secret  processes  by  which  the  regeneration  of  humanity  was  to  be 
accomplished  and  also  served  as  the  key  to  his  other  writings.  Nothing  definite  is  known  concerning 
the  contents  of  the  Book  ofThoth  other  than  that  its  pages  were  covered  with  strange  hieroglyphic 
figures  and  symbols,  which  gave  to  those  acquainted  with  their  use  unlimited  power  over  the  spirits  of 
the  air  and  the  subterranean  divinities.  When  certain  areas  of  the  brain  are  stimulated  by  the  secret 
processes  of  the  Mysteries,  the  consciousness  of  man  is  extended  and  he  is  permitted  to  behold  the 
Immortals  and  enter  into  the  presence  of  the  superior  gods.  The  Book  ofThoth  described  the  method 
whereby  this  stimulation  was  accomplished.  In  truth,  therefore,  it  was  the  "Key  to  Immortality." 

According  to  legend,  the  Book  ofThoth  was  kept  in  a  golden  box  in  the  inner  sanctuary  of  the  temple. 
There  was  but  one  key  and  this  was  in  the  possession  of  the  "Master  of  the  Mysteries,"  the  highest 
initiate  of  the  Hermetic  Arcanum.  He  alone  knew  what  was  written  in  the  secret  book.  The  Book  of 
Thoth  was  lost  to  the  ancient  world  with  the  decay  of  the  Mysteries,  but  its  faithful  initiates  carried  it 
sealed  in  the  sacred  casket  into  another  land.  The  book  is  still  in  existence  and  continues  to  lead  the 
disciples  of  this  age  into  the  presence  of  the  Immortals.  No  other  information  can  be  given  to  the 
world  concerning  it  now,  but  the  apostolic  succession  from  the  first  hierophant  initiated  by  Hermes 
himself  remains  unbroken  to  this  day,  and  those  who  are  peculiarly  fitted  to  serve  the  Immortals  may 
discover  this  priceless  document  if  they  will  search  sincerely  and  tirelessly  for  it. 

It  has  been  asserted  that  the  Book  ofThoth  is,  in  reality,  the  mysterious  Tarot  of  the  Bohemians— a 
strange  emblematic  book  of  seventy-eight  leaves  which  has  been  in  possession  of  the  gypsies  since  the 
time  when  they  were  driven  from  their  ancient  temple,  the  Serapeum.  (According  to  the  Secret 
Histories  the  gypsies  were  originally  Egyptian  priests.)  There  are  now  in  the  world  several  secret 
schools  privileged  to  initiate  candidates  into  the  Mysteries,  but  in  nearly  every  instance  they  lighted 
their  altar  fires  from  the  flaming  torch  of  Herm.  Hermes  in  his  Book  ofThoth  revealed  to  all  mankind 
the  "One  Way,"  and  for  ages  the  wise  of  every  nation  and  every  faith  have  reached  immortality  by  the 
"Way"  established  by  Hermes  in  the  midst  of  the  darkness  for  the  redemption  of  humankind. 


The  Divine  Pymander  of  Hermes  Mercurius  Trismegistus  is  one  of  the  earliest  of  the  Hermetic 
writings  now  extant.  While  probably  not  in  its  original  form,  having  been  remodeled  during  the  first 
centuries  of  the  Christian  Era  and  incorrectly  translated  since,  this  work  undoubtedly  contains  many 
of  the  original  concepts  of  the  Hermetic  cultus.  The  Divine  Pymander  consists  of  seventeen 
fragmentary  writings  gathered  together  and  put  forth  as  one  work.  The  second  book  of  The  Divine 
Pymander,  called  Poimandres,  or  The  Vision,  is  believed  to  describe  the  method  by  which  the  divine 
wisdom  was  first  revealed  to  Hermes.  It  was  after  Hermes  had  received  this  revelation  that  he  began 

his  ministry,  teaching  to  all  who  would  listen  the  secrets  of  the  invisible  universe  as  they  had  been 
unfolded  to  him. 

The  Vision  is  the  most:  famous  of  all  the  Hermetic  fragments,  and  contains  an  exposition  of  Hermetic 
cosmogony  and  the  secret  sciences  of  the  Egyptians  regarding  the  culture  and  unfoldment  of  the 
human  soul.  For  some  time  it  was  erroneously  called  "The  Genesis  of  Enoch,"  but  that  mistake  has 
now  been  rectified.  At  hand  while  preparing  the  following  interpretation  of  the  symbolic  philosophy 
concealed  within  The  Vision  of  Hermes  the  present  author  has  had  these  reference  works:  The  Divine 
Pymander  of  Hermes  Mercurius  Trismegistus  (London,  1650),  translated  out  of  the  Arabic  and 
Greek  by  Dr.  Everard;  Hermetica  (Oxford,  1924),  edited  by  Walter  Scott;  Hermes,  The  Mysteries  of 
Egypt  (Philadelphia,  1925),  by  Edouard  Schure;  and  the  Thrice-Greatest  Hermes  (London,  1906),  by 
G.  R.  S.  Mead.  To  the  material  contained  in  the  above  volumes  he  has  added  commentaries  based 
upon  the  esoteric  philosophy  of  the  ancient  Egyptians,  together  with  amplifications  derived  partly 
from  other  Hermetic  fragments  and  partly  from  the  secret  arcanum  of  the  Hermetic  sciences.  For  the 
sake  of  clarity,  the  narrative  form  has  been  chosen  in  preference  to  the  original  dialogic  style,  and 
obsolete  words  have  given  place  to  those  in  current  use. 

Hermes,  while  wandering  in  a  rocky  and  desolate  place,  gave  himself  over  to  meditation  and  prayer. 
Following  the  secret  instructions  of  the  Temple,  he  gradually  freed  his  higher  consciousness  from  the 
bondage  of  his  bodily  senses;  and,  thus  released,  his  divine  nature  revealed  to  him  the  mysteries  of 
the  transcendental  spheres.  He  beheld  a  figure,  terrible  and  awe-inspiring.  It  was  the  Great  Dragon, 
with  wings  stretching  across  the  sky  and  light  streaming  in  all  directions  from  its  body.  (The 
Mysteries  taught  that  the  Universal  Life  was  personified  as  a  dragon.)  The  Great  Dragon  called 
Hermes  by  name,  and  asked  him  why  he  thus  meditated  upon  the  World  Mystery.  Terrified  by  the 
spectacle,  Hermes  prostrated  himself  before  the  Dragon,  beseeching  it  to  reveal  its  identity.  The  great 
creature  answered  that  it  was  Poimandres,  the  Mind  of  the  Universe,  the  Creative  Intelligence,  and 
the  Absolute  Emperor  of  all.  (Schure  identifies  Poimandres  as  the  god  Osiris.)  Hermes  then  besought 
Poimandres  to  disclose  the  nature  of  the  universe  and  the  constitution  of  the  gods.  The  Dragon 
acquiesced,  bidding  Trismegistus  hold  its  image  in  his  mind. 

Immediately  the  form  of  Poimandres  changed.  Where  it  had  stood  there  was  a  glorious  and  pulsating 
Radiance.  This  Light  was  the  spiritual  nature  of  the  Great  Dragon  itself.  Hermes  was  "raised"  into  the 
midst  of  this  Divine  Effulgence  and  the  universe  of  material  things  faded  from  his  consciousness. 
Presently  a  great  darkness  descended  and,  expanding,  swallowed  up  the  Light.  Everything  was 
troubled.  About  Hermes  swirled  a  mysterious  watery  substance  which  gave  forth  a  smokelike  vapor. 
The  air  was  filled  with  inarticulate  moanings  and  sighings  which  seemed  to  come  from  the  Light 
swallowed  up  in  the  darkness.  His  mind  told  Hermes  that 


From  Wilkinson's  Manners  &  Customs  of  the  Ancient  Egyptians. 

It  is  doubtful  that  the  deity  called  Thoth  by  the  Egyptians  was  originally  Hermes,  but  the  two  personalities  were  blended 
together  and  it  is  now  impossible  to  separate  them.  Thoth  was  called  "The  Lord  of  the  Divine  Books"  and  "Scribe  of  the 
Company  of  the  Gods."  He  is  generally  depicted  with  the  body  of  a  man  and  the  head  of  an  ibis.  The  exact  symbolic 
meaning  of  this  latter  bird  has  never  been  discovered.  A  careful  analysis  of  the  peculiar  shape  of  the  ibis—especially  its 
head  and  beak—should  prove  illuminating. 

p-  39 

the  Light  was  the  form  of  the  spiritual  universe  and  that  the  swirhng  darkness  which  had  engulfed  it 
represented  material  substance. 

Then  out  of  the  imprisoned  Light  a  mysterious  and  Holy  Word  came  forth  and  took  its  stand  upon  the 
smoking  waters.  This  Word— the  Voice  of  the  Light— rose  out  of  the  darkness  as  a  great  pillar,  and  the 
fire  and  the  air  followed  after  it,  but  the  earth  and  the  water  remained  unmoved  below.  Thus  the 
waters  of  Light  were  divided  from  the  waters  of  darkness,  and  from  the  waters  of  Light  were  formed 
the  worlds  above  and  from  the  waters  of  darkness  were  formed  the  worlds  below.  The  earth  and  the 
water  next  mingled,  becoming  inseparable,  and  the  Spiritual  Word  which  is  called  Reason  moved 
upon  their  surface,  causing  endless  turmoil. 

Then  again  was  heard  the  voice  of  Poimandres,  but  His  form  was  not  revealed:  "I  Thy  God  am  the 
Light  and  the  Mind  which  were  before  substance  was  divided  from  spirit  and  darkness  from  Light. 
And  the  Word  which  appeared  as  a  pillar  of  flame  out  of  the  darkness  is  the  Son  of  God,  born  of  the 
mystery  of  the  Mind.  The  name  of  that  Word  is  Reason.  Reason  is  the  offspring  of  Thought  and 
Reason  shall  divide  the  Light  from  the  darkness  and  establish  Truth  in  the  midst  of  the  waters. 
Understand,  O  Hermes,  and  meditate  deeply  upon  the  mystery.  That  which  in  you  sees  and  hears  is 
not  of  the  earth,  but  is  the  Word  of  God  incarnate.  So  it  is  said  that  Divine  Light  dwells  in  the  midst  of 
mortal  darkness,  and  ignorance  cannot  divide  them.  The  union  of  the  Word  and  the  Mind  produces 
that  mystery  which  is  called  Life.  As  the  darkness  without  you  is  divided  against  itself,  so  the  darkness 
within  you  is  likewise  divided.  The  Light  and  the  fire  which  rise  are  the  divine  man,  ascending  in  the 
path  of  the  Word,  and  that  which  fails  to  ascend  is  the  mortal  man,  which  may  not  partake  of 
immortality.  Learn  deeply  of  the  Mind  and  its  mystery,  for  therein  lies  the  secret  of  immortality." 

The  Dragon  again  revealed  its  form  to  Hermes,  and  for  a  long  time  the  two  looked  steadfastly  one 
upon  the  other,  eye  to  eye,  so  that  Hermes  trembled  before  the  gaze  of  Poimandres.  At  the  Word  of 

the  Dragon  the  heavens  opened  and  the  innumerable  Light  Powers  were  revealed,  soaring  through 
Cosmos  on  pinions  of  streaming  fire.  Hermes  beheld  the  spirits  of  the  stars,  the  celestials  controlling 
the  universe,  and  all  those  Powers  which  shine  with  the  radiance  of  the  One  Fire—the  glory  of  the 
Sovereign  Mind.  Hermes  realized  that  the  sight  which  he  beheld  was  revealed  to  him  only  because 
Poimandres  had  spoken  a  Word.  The  Word  was  Reason,  and  by  the  Reason  of  the  Word  invisible 
things  were  made  manifest.  Divine  Mind—the  Dragon— continued  its  discourse: 

"Before  the  visible  universe  was  formed  its  mold  was  cast.  This  mold  was  called  the  Archetype,  and 
this  Archetype  was  in  the  Supreme  Mind  long  before  the  process  of  creation  began.  Beholding  the 
Archetypes,  the  Supreme  Mind  became  enamored  with  Its  own  thought;  so,  taking  the  Word  as  a 
mighty  hammer,  It  gouged  out  caverns  in  primordial  space  and  cast  the  form  of  the  spheres  in  the 
Archetypal  mold,  at  the  same  time  sowing  in  the  newly  fashioned  bodies  the  seeds  of  living  things. 
The  darkness  below,  receiving  the  hammer  of  the  Word,  was  fashioned  into  an  orderly  universe.  The 
elements  separated  into  strata  and  each  brought  forth  living  creatures.  The  Supreme  Being— the 
Mind— male  and  female,  brought  forth  the  Word;  and  the  Word,  suspended  between  Light  and 
darkness,  was  delivered  of  another  Mind  called  the  Workman,  the  Master-Builder,  or  the  Maker  of 

"In  this  manner  it  was  accomplished,  O  Hermes:  The  Word  moving  like  a  breath  through  space  called 
forth  the  Fire  by  the  friction  of  its  motion.  Therefore,  the  Fire  is  called  the  Son  of  Striving.  The 
Workman  passed  as  a  whirlwind  through  the  universe,  causing  the  substances  to  vibrate  and  glow 
with  its  friction,  The  Son  of  Striving  thus  formed  Seven  Governors,  the  Spirits  of  the  Planets,  whose 
orbits  bounded  the  world;  and  the  Seven  Governors  controlled  the  world  by  the  mysterious  power 
called  Destiny  given  them  by  the  Fiery  Workman.  When  the  Second  Mind  (The  Workman)  had 
organized  Chaos,  the  Word  of  God  rose  straightway  our  of  its  prison  of  substance,  leaving  the 
elements  without  Reason,  and  joined  Itself  to  the  nature  of  the  Fiery  Workman.  Then  the  Second 
Mind,  together  with  the  risen  Word,  established  Itself  in  the  midst  of  the  universe  and  whirled  the 
wheels  of  the  Celestial  Powers.  This  shall  continue  from  an  infinite  beginning  to  an  infinite  end,  for 
the  beginning  and  the  ending  are  in  the  same  place  and  state. 

"Then  the  downward-turned  and  unreasoning  elements  brought  forth  creatures  without  Reason. 
Substance  could  not  bestow  Reason,  for  Reason  had  ascended  out  of  it.  The  air  produced  flying  things 
and  the  waters  such  as  swim.  The  earth  conceived  strange  four-footed  and  creeping  beasts,  dragons, 
composite  demons,  and  grotesque  monsters.  Then  the  Father— the  Supreme  Mind— being  Light  and 
Life,  fashioned  a  glorious  Universal  Man  in  Its  own  image,  not  an  earthy  man  but  a  heavenly  Man 
dwelling  in  the  Light  of  God.  The  Supreme  Mind  loved  the  Man  It  had  fashioned  and  delivered  to 
Him  the  control  of  the  creations  and  workmanships. 

"The  Man,  desiring  to  labor,  took  up  His  abode  in  the  sphere  of  generation  and  observed  the  works  of 
His  brother— the  Second  Mind— which  sat  upon  the  Ring  of  the  Fire.  And  having  beheld  the 
achievements  of  the  Fiery  Workman,  He  willed  also  to  make  things,  and  His  Father  gave  permission. 
The  Seven  Governors,  of  whose  powers  He  partook,  rejoiced  and  each  gave  the  Man  a  share  of  Its  own 

"The  Man  longed  to  pierce  the  circumference  of  the  circles  and  understand  the  mystery  of  Him  who 
sat  upon  the  Eternal  Fire.  Having  already  all  power.  He  stooped  down  and  peeped  through  the  seven 
Harmonies  and,  breaking  through  the  strength  of  the  circles,  made  Himself  manifest  to  Nature 
stretched  out  below.  The  Man,  looking  into  the  depths,  smiled,  for  He  beheld  a  shadow  upon  the 
earth  and  a  likeness  mirrored  in  the  waters,  which  shadow  and  likeness  were  a  reflection  of  Himself. 
The  Man  fell  in  love  with  His  own  shadow  and  desired  to  descend  into  it.  Coincident  with  the  desire, 
the  Intelligent  Thing  united  Itself  with  the  unreasoning  image  or  shape. 

"Nature,  beholding  the  descent,  wrapped  herself  about  the  Man  whom  she  loved,  and  the  two  were 
mingled.  For  this  reason,  earthy  man  is  composite.  Within  him  is  the  Sky  Man,  immortal  and 
beautiful;  without  is  Nature,  mortal  and  destructible.  Thus,  suffering  is  the  result  of  the  Immortal 
Man's  falling  in  love  with  His  shadow  and  giving  up  Reality  to  dwell  in  the  darkness  of  illusion;  for, 
being  immortal,  man  has  the  power  of  the  Seven  Governors—also  the  Life,  the  Light,  and  the  Word- 
but  being  mortal,  he  is  controlled  by  the  Rings  of  the  Governors—Fate  or  Destiny. 

"Of  the  Immortal  Man  it  should  be  said  that  He  is  hermaphrodite,  or  male  and  female,  and  eternally 
watchful.  He  neither  slumbers  nor  sleeps,  and  is  governed  by  a  Father  also  both  male  and  female,  and 
ever  watchful.  Such  is  the  mystery  kept  hidden  to  this  day,  for  Nature,  being  mingled  in  marriage  with 
the  Sky  Man,  brought  forth  a  wonder  most  wonderful— seven  men,  all  bisexual,  male  and  female,  and 
upright  of  stature,  each  one  exemplifying  the  natures  of  the  Seven  Governors.  These  O  Hermes,  are 
the  seven  races,  species,  and  wheels. 

"After  this  manner  were  the  seven  men  generated.  Earth  was  the  female  element  and  water  the  male 
element,  and  from  the  fire  and  the  gether  they  received  their  spirits,  and  Nature  produced  bodies  after 
the  species  and  shapes  of  men.  And  man  received  the  Life  and  Light  of  the  Great  Dragon,  and  of  the 
Life  was  made  his  Soul  and  of  the  Light  his  Mind.  And  so,  all  these  composite  creatures  containing 
immortality,  but  partaking  of  mortality,  continued  in  this  state  for  the  duration  of  a  period.  They 
reproduced  themselves  out  of  themselves,  for  each  was  male  and  female.  But  at  the  end  of  the  period 
the  knot  of  Destiny  was  untied  by  the  will  of  God  and  the  bond  of  all  things  was  loosened. 

"Then  all  living  creatures,  including  man,  which  had  been  hermaphroditical,  were  separated,  the 
males  being  set  apart  by  themselves  and  the  females  likewise,  according  to  the  dictates  of  Reason. 

"Then  God  spoke  to  the  Holy  Word  within  the  soul  of  all  things,  saying:  'Increase  in  increasing  and 
multiply  in  multitudes,  all  you,  my  creatures  and  workmanships.  Let  him  that  is  endued  with  Mind 
know  himself  to  be  immortal  and  that  the  cause  of  death  is  the  love  of  the  body;  and  let  him  learn  all 
things  that  are,  for  he  who  has  recognized  himself  enters  into  the  state  of  Good.' 

The  name  Hermes  is  derived  from  "Herm,"  a  form  of  CHiram,  the  Personified  Universal  Life  Principle,  generally 
represented  by  fire.  The  Scandinavians  worshiped  Hermes  under  the  name  of  Odin;  the  Teutons  as  Wotan,  and  certain  of 
the  Oriental  peoples  as  Buddha,  or  Fo.  There  are  two  theories  concerning  his  demise.  The  first  declares  that  Hermes  was 

Sexmes  KTJIN. 


From  Bryant's  Mythology. 

translated  like  Enoch  and  carried  without  death  into  the  presence  of  God,  the  second  states  that  he  was  buried  in  the 
Valley  of  Ebron  and  a  great  treasure  placed  in  his  tomb—not  a  treasure  of  gold  but  of  books  and  sacred  learning. 

The  Egyptians  likened  humanity  to  a  flock  of  sheep.  The  Supreme  and  Inconceivable  Father  was  the  Shepherd,  and 
Hermes  was  the  shepherd  dog.  The  origin  of  the  shepherd's  crook  in  religious  symbolism  may  be  traced  to  the  Egyptian 
rituals.  The  three  scepters  of  Egypt  include  the  shepherd's  crook,  symbolizing  that  by  virtue  of  the  power  reposing  in  that 
symbolic  staff  the  initiated  Pharaohs  guided  the  destiny  of  their  people. 

p.  40 

"And  when  God  had  said  this,  Providence,  with  the  aid  of  the  Seven  Governors  and  Harmony,  brought 
the  sexes  together,  making  the  mixtures  and  estabhshing  the  generations,  and  all  things  were 
multiplied  according  to  their  kind.  He  who  through  the  error  of  attachment  loves  his  body,  abides 
wandering  in  darkness,  sensible  and  suffering  the  things  of  death,  but  he  who  realizes  that  the  body  is 
but  the  tomb  of  his  soul,  rises  to  immortality." 

Then  Hermes  desired  to  know  why  men  should  be  deprived  of  immortality  for  the  sin  of  ignorance 
alone.  The  Great  Dragon  answered:.  To  the  ignorant  the  body  is  supreme  and  they  are  incapable  of 
realizing  the  immortality  that  is  within  them.  Knowing  only  the  body  which  is  subject  to  death,  they 
believe  in  death  because  they  worship  that  substance  which  is  the  cause  and  reality  of  death." 

Then  Hermes  asked  how  the  righteous  and  wise  pass  to  God,  to  which  Poimandres  replied:  "That 
which  the  Word  of  God  said,  say  I:  'Because  the  Father  of  all  things  consists  of  Life  and  Light,  whereof 
man  is  made.'  If,  therefore,  a  man  shall  learn  and  understand  the  nature  of  Life  and  Light,  then  he 
shall  pass  into  the  eternity  of  Life  and  Light." 

Hermes  next  inquired  about  the  road  by  which  the  wise  attained  to  Life  eternal,  and  Poimandres 
continued:  "Let  the  man  endued  with  a  Mind  mark,  consider,  and  learn  of  himself,  and  with  the 
power  of  his  Mind  divide  himself  from  his  not-self  and  become  a  servant  of  Reality." 

Hermes  asked  if  all  men  did  not  have  Minds,  and  the  Great  Dragon  replied:  "Take  heed  what  you  say, 
for  I  am  the  Mind—the  Eternal  Teacher.  I  am  the  Father  of  the  Word—the  Redeemer  of  all  men— and 
in  the  nature  of  the  wise  the  Word  takes  flesh.  By  means  of  the  Word,  the  world  is  saved.  I,  Thought 
(Thoth)~the  Father  of  the  Word,  the  Mind— come  only  unto  men  that  are  holy  and  good,  pure  and 
merciful,  and  that  live  piously  and  religiously,  and  my  presence  is  an  inspiration  and  a  help  to  them, 
for  when  I  come  they  immediately  know  all  things  and  adore  the  Universal  Father.  Before  such  wise 
and  philosophic  ones  die,  they  learn  to  renounce  their  senses,  knowing  that  these  are  the  enemies  of 
their  immortal  souls. 

"I  will  not  permit  the  evil  senses  to  control  the  bodies  of  those  who  love  me,  nor  will  I  allow  evil 
emotions  and  evil  thoughts  to  enter  them.  I  become  as  a  porter  or  doorkeeper,  and  shut  out  evil, 
protecting  the  wise  from  their  own  lower  nature.  But  to  the  wicked,  the  envious  and  the  covetous,  I 
come  not,  for  such  cannot  understand  the  mysteries  of  Mind;  therefore,  I  am  unwelcome.  I  leave 
them  to  the  avenging  demon  that  they  are  making  in  their  own  souls,  for  evil  each  day  increases  itself 
and  torments  man  more  sharply,  and  each  evil  deed  adds  to  the  evil  deeds  that  are  gone  before  until 
finally  evil  destroys  itself.  The  punishment  of  desire  is  the  agony  of  unfulfillment." 

Hermes  bowed  his  head  in  thankfulness  to  the  Great  Dragon  who  had  taught  him  so  much,  and 
begged  to  hear  more  concerning  the  ultimate  of  the  human  soul.  So  Poimandres  resumed:  "At  death 
the  material  body  of  man  is  returned  to  the  elements  from  which  it  came,  and  the  invisible  divine 
man  ascends  to  the  source  from  whence  he  came,  namely  the  Eighth  Sphere.  The  evil  passes  to  the 
dwelling  place  of  the  demon,  and  the  senses,  feelings,  desires,  and  body  passions  return  to  their 
source,  namely  the  Seven  Governors,  whose  natures  in  the  lower  man  destroy  but  in  the  invisible 
spiritual  man  give  life. 

"After  the  lower  nature  has  returned  to  the  brutishness,  the  higher  struggles  again  to  regain  its 
spiritual  estate.  It  ascends  the  seven  Rings  upon  which  sit  the  Seven  Governors  and  returns  to  each 
their  lower  powers  in  this  manner:  Upon  the  first  ring  sits  the  Moon,  and  to  it  is  returned  the  ability 
to  increase  and  diminish.  Upon  the  second  ring  sits  Mercury,  and  to  it  are  returned  machinations, 
deceit,  and  craftiness.  Upon  the  third  ring  sits  Venus,  and  to  it  are  returned  the  lusts  and  passions. 
Upon  the  fourth  ring  sits  the  Sun,  and  to  this  Lord  are  returned  ambitions.  Upon  the  fifth  ring  sits 
Mars,  and  to  it  are  returned  rashness  and  profane  boldness.  Upon  the  sixth  ring  sits  Jupiter,  and  to  it 
are  returned  the  sense  of  accumulation  and  riches.  And  upon  the  seventh  ring  sits  Saturn,  at  the  Gate 
of  Chaos,  and  to  it  are  returned  falsehood  and  evil  plotting. 

"Then,  being  naked  of  all  the  accumulations  of  the  seven  Rings,  the  soul  comes  to  the  Eighth  Sphere, 
namely,  the  ring  of  the  fixed  stars.  Here,  freed  of  all  illusion,  it  dwells  in  the  Light  and  sings  praises  to 
the  Father  in  a  voice  which  only  the  pure  of  spirit  may  understand.  Behold,  O  Hermes,  there  is  a  great 
mystery  in  the  Eighth  Sphere,  for  the  Milky  Way  is  the  seed-ground  of  souls,  and  from  it  they  drop 
into  the  Rings,  and  to  the  Milky  Way  they  return  again  from  the  wheels  of  Saturn.  But  some  cannot 
climb  the  seven-runged  ladder  of  the  Rings.  So  they  wander  in  darkness  below  and  are  swept  into 
eternity  with  the  illusion  of  sense  and  earthiness. 

"The  path  to  immortality  is  hard,  and  only  a  few  find  it.  The  rest  await  the  Great  Day  when  the  wheels 
of  the  universe  shall  be  stopped  and  the  immortal  sparks  shall  escape  from  the  sheaths  of  substance. 
Woe  unto  those  who  wait,  for  they  must  return  again,  unconscious  and  unknowing,  to  the  seed- 
ground  of  stars,  and  await  a  new  beginning.  Those  who  are  saved  by  the  light  of  the  mystery  which  I 
have  revealed  unto  you,  O  Hermes,  and  which  I  now  bid  you  to  establish  among  men,  shall  return 
again  to  the  Father  who  dwelleth  in  the  White  Light,  and  shall  deliver  themselves  up  to  the  Light  and 
shall  be  absorbed  into  the  Light,  and  in  the  Light  they  shall  become  Powers  in  God.  This  is  the  Way  of 
Good  and  is  revealed  only  to  them  that  have  wisdom. 

"Blessed  art  thou,  O  Son  of  Light,  to  whom  of  all  men,  I,  Poimandres,  the  Light  of  the  World,  have 
revealed  myself.  I  order  you  to  go  forth,  to  become  as  a  guide  to  those  who  wander  in  darkness,  that 
all  men  within  whom  dwells  the  spirit  of  My  Mind  (The  Universal  Mind)  may  be  saved  by  My  Mind  in 
you,  which  shall  call  forth  My  Mind  in  them.  Establish  My  Mysteries  and  they  shall  not  fail  from  the 
earth,  for  I  am  the  Mind  of  the  Mysteries  and  until  Mind  fails  (which  is  never)  my  Mysteries  cannot 
fail."  With  these  parting  words,  Poimandres,  radiant  with  celestial  light,  vanished,  mingling  with  the 
powers  of  the  heavens.  Raising  his  eyes  unto  the  heavens,  Hermes  blessed  the  Father  of  All  Things 
and  consecrated  his  life  to  the  service  of  the  Great  Light. 

Thus  preached  Hermes:  "O  people  of  the  earth,  men  born  and  made  of  the  elements,  but  with  the 
spirit  of  the  Divine  Man  within  you,  rise  from  your  sleep  of  ignorance!  Be  sober  and  thoughtful. 
Realize  that  your  home  is  not  in  the  earth  but  in  the  Light.  Why  have  you  delivered  yourselves  over 
unto  death,  having  power  to  partake  of  immortality?  Repent,  and  change  your  minds.  Depart  from 
the  dark  light  and  forsake  corruption  forever.  Prepare  yourselves  to  climb  through  the  Seven  Rings 
and  to  blend  your  souls  with  the  eternal  Light." 

Some  who  heard  mocked  and  scoffed  and  went  their  way,  delivering  themselves  to  the  Second  Death 
from  which  there  is  no  salvation.  But  others,  casting  themselves  before  the  feet  of  Hermes,  besought 
him  to  teach  them  the  Way  of  Life.  He  lifted  them  gently,  receiving  no  approbation  for  himself,  and 
staff  in  hand,  went  forth  teaching  and  guiding  mankind,  and  showing  them  how  they  might  be  saved. 
In  the  worlds  of  men,  Hermes  sowed  the  seeds  of  wisdom  and  nourished  the  seeds  with  the  Immortal 
Waters.  And  at  last  came  the  evening  of  his  life,  and  as  the  brightness  of  the  light  of  earth  was 
beginning  to  go  down,  Hermes  commanded  his  disciples  to  preserve  his  doctrines  inviolate 
throughout  all  ages.  The  Vision  of  Poimandres  he  committed  to  writing  that  all  men  desiring 
immortality  might  therein  find  the  way. 

In  concluding  his  exposition  of  the  Vision,  Hermes  wrote:  "The  sleep  of  the  body  is  the  sober 
watchfulness  of  the  Mind  and  the  shutting  of  my  eyes  reveals  the  true  Light.  My  silence  is  filled  with 
budding  life  and  hope,  and  is  full  of  good.  My  words  are  the  blossoms  of  fruit  of  the  tree  of  my  soul. 
For  this  is  the  faithful  account  of  what  I  received  from  my  true  Mind,  that  is  Poimandres,  the  Great 
Dragon,  the  Lord  of  the  Word,  through  whom  I  became  inspired  by  God  with  the  Truth.  Since  that 
day  my  Mind  has  been  ever  with  me  and  in  my  own  soul  it  hath  given  birth  to  the  Word:  the  Word  is 
Reason,  and  Reason  hath  redeemed  me.  For  which  cause,  with  all  my  soul  and  all  my  strength,  I  give 
praise  and  blessing  unto  God  the  Father,  the  Life  and  the  Light,  and  the  Eternal  Good. 

"Holy  is  God,  the  Father  of  all  things,  the  One  who  is  before  the  First  Beginning. 

"Holy  is  God,  whose  will  is  performed  and  accomplished  by  His  own  Powers  which  He  hath  given 
birth  to  out  of  Himself. 

"Holy  is  God,  who  has  determined  that  He  shall  be  known,  and  who  is  known  by  His  own  to  whom  He 
reveals  Himself. 

"Holy  art  Thou,  who  by  Thy  Word  (Reason)  hast  established  all  things. 

"Holy  art  Thou,  of  whom  all  Nature  is  the  image. 

"Holy  art  Thou,  whom  the  inferior  nature  has  not  formed. 

"Holy  art  Thou,  who  art  stronger  than  all  powers. 

"Holy  art  Thou,  who  art  greater  than  all  excellency. 

"Holy  art  Thou,  who  art  better  than  all  praise. 

"Accept  these  reasonable  sacrifices  from  a  pure  soul  and  a  heart  stretched  out  unto  Thee. 
"O  Thou  Unspeakable,  Unutterable,  to  be  praised  with  silence! 

"I  beseech  Thee  to  look  mercifully  upon  me,  that  I  may  not  err  from  the  knowledge  of  Thee  and  that  I 
may  enlighten  those  that  are  in  ignorance,  my  brothers  and  Thy  sons. 

"Therefore  I  believe  Thee  and  bear  witness  unto  Thee,  and  depart  in  peace  and  in  trustfulness  into 
Thy  Light  and  Life. 

"Blessed  art  Thou,  O  Father!  The  man  Thou  hast  fashioned  would  be  sanctified  with  Thee  as  Thou 
hast  given  him  power  to  sanctify  others  with  Thy  Word  and  Thy  Truth." 

The  Vision  of  Hermes,  like  nearly  all  of  the  Hermetic  writings,  is  an  allegorical  exposition  of  great 
philosophic  and  mystic  truths,  and  its  hidden  meaning  may  be  comprehended  only  by  those  who  have 
been  "raised"  into  the  presence  of  the  True  Mind. 

•  41 

The  Initiation  of  the  Pyramid 

SUPREME  among  the  wonders  of  antiquity,  unrivaled  by  the  achievements  of  later  architects  and 
builders,  the  Great  Pyramid  of  Gizeh  bears  mute  witness  to  an  unknown  civilization  which,  having 
completed  its  predestined  span,  passed  into  oblivion.  Eloquent  in  its  silence,  inspiring  in  its  majesty, 
divine  in  its  simplicity,  the  Great  Pyramid  is  indeed  a  sermon  in  stone.  Its  magnitude  overwhelms  the 
puny  sensibilities  of  man.  Among  the  shifting  sands  of  time  it  stands  as  a  fitting  emblem  of  eternity 
itself.  Who  were  the  illumined  mathematicians  who  planned  its  parts  and  dimensions,  the  master 
craftsmen  who  supervised  its  construction,  the  skilled  artisans  who  trued  its  blocks  of  stone? 

The  earliest  and  best-known  account  of  the  building  of  the  Great  Pyramid  is  that  given  by  that  highly 
revered  but  somewhat  imaginative  historian,  Herodotus.  "The  pyramid  was  built  in  steps,  battlement- 
wise,  as  it  is  called,  or,  according  to  others,  altar-wise.  After  laying  the  stones  for  the  base,  they  raised 
the  remaining  stones  to  their  places  by  means  of  machines  formed  of  short  wooden  planks.  The  first 
machine  raised  them  from  the  ground  to  the  top  of  the  first  step.  On  this  there  was  another  machine, 
which  received  the  stone  upon  its  arrival,  and  conveyed  it  to  the  second  step,  whence  a  third  machine 
advanced  it  still  higher.  Either  they  had  as  many  machines  as  there  were  steps  in  the  pyramid,  or 
possibly  they  had  but  a  single  machine,  which,  being  easily  moved,  was  transferred  from  tier  to  tier  as 
the  stone  rose.  Both  accounts  are  given,  and  therefore  I  mention  both.  The  upper  portion  of  the 
pyramid  was  finished  first,  then  the  middle,  and  finally  the  part  which  was  lowest  and  nearest  the 
ground.  There  is  an  inscription  in  Egyptian  characters  on  the  pyramid  which  records  the  quantity  of 
radishes,  onions,  and  garlick  consumed  by  the  labourers  who  constructed  it;  and  I  perfectly  well 
remember  that  the  interpreter  who  read  the  writing  to  me  said  that  the  money  expended  in  this  way 
was  1600  talents  of  silver.  If  this  then  is  a  true  record,  what  a  vast  sum  must  have  been  spent  on  the 
iron  tools  used  in  the  work,  and  on  the  feeding  and  clothing  of  the  labourers,  considering  the  length 
of  time  the  work  lasted,  which  has  already  been  stated  [ten  years],  and  the  additional  time—no  small 
space,  I  imagine—which  must  have  been  occupied  by  the  quarrying  of  the  stones,  their  conveyance, 
and  the  formation  of  the  underground  apartments." 

While  his  account  is  extremely  colorful,  it  is  apparent  that  the  Father  of  History,  for  reasons  which  he 
doubtless  considered  sufficient,  concocted  a  fraudulent  story  to  conceal  the  true  origin  and  purpose  of 
the  Great  Pyramid.  This  is  but  one  of  several  instances  in  his  writings  which  would  lead  the 
thoughtful  reader  to  suspect  that  Herodotus  himself  was  an  initiate  of  the  Sacred  Schools  and 
consequently  obligated  to  preserve  inviolate  the  secrets  of  the  ancient  orders.  The  theory  advanced  by 
Herodotus  and  now  generally  accepted  that  the  Pyramid  was  the  tomb  of  the  Pharaoh  Cheops  cannot 
be  substantiated.  In  fact,  Manetho,  Eratosthenes,  and  Diodorus  Siculus  all  differ  from  Herodotus— as 
well  as  from  each  other— regarding  the  name  of  the  builder  of  this  supreme  edifice.  The  sepulchral 
vault,  which,  according  to  the  Lepsius  Law  of  pyramid  construction,  should  have  been  finished  at  the 
same  time  as  the  monument  or  sooner,  was  never  completed.  There  is  no  proof  that  the  building  was 
erected  by  the  Egyptians,  for  the  elaborate  carvings  with  which  the  burial  chambers  of  Egyptian 
royalty  are  almost  invariably  ornamented  are  entirely  lacking  and  it  embodies  none  of  the  elements  of 
their  architecture  or  decoration,  such  as  inscriptions,  images,  cartouches,  paintings,  and  other 
distinctive  features  associated  with  dynastic  mortuary  art.  The  only  hieroglyphics  to  be  found  within 
the  Pyramid  are  a  few  builders'  marks  sealed  up  in  the  chambers  of  construction,  first  opened  by 
Howard  Vyse.  These  apparently  were  painted  upon  the  stones  before  they  were  set  in  position,  for  in  a 
number  of  instances  the  marks  were  either  inverted  or  disfigured  by  the  operation  of  fitting  the  blocks 
together.  While  Egyptologists  have  attempted  to  identify  the  crude  dabs  of  paint  as  cartouches  of 
Cheops,  it  is  almost  inconceivable  that  this  ambitious  ruler  would  have  permitted  his  royal  name  to 
suffer  such  indignities.  As  the  most  eminent  authorities  on  the  subject  are  still  uncertain  as  to  the  true 
meaning  of  these  crude  markings,  whatever  proof  they  might  be  that  the  building  was  erected  during 

the  fourth  dynasty  is  certainly  offset  by  the  sea  shells  at  the  base  of  the  Pyramid  which  Mr.  Gab 

advances  as  evidence  that  it  was  erected  before  the  Deluge—a  theory  substantiated  by  the  much- 
abused  Arabian  traditions.  One  Arabian  historian  declared  that  the  Pyramid  was  built  by  the  Egyptian 
sages  as  a  refuge  against  the  Flood,  while  another  proclaimed  it  to  have  been  the  treasure  house  of  the 
powerful  antediluvian  king  Sheddad  Ben  Ad.  A  panel  of  hieroglyphs  over  the  entrance,  which  the 
casual  observer  might  consider  to  afford  a  solution  of  the  mystery,  unfortunately  dates  back  no 
further  than  A.D.  1843,  having  been  cut  at  that  time  by  Dr.  Lepsius  as  a  tribute  to  the  King  of  Prussia. 

Caliph  al  Mamoun,  an  illustrious  descendant  of  the  Prophet,  inspired  by  stories  of  the  immense 
treasures  sealed  within  its  depths,  journeyed  from  Bagdad  to  Cairo,  A.D.  820,  with  a  great  force  of 
workmen  to  open  the  mighty  Pyramid.  When  Caliph  al  Mamoun  first  reached  the  foot  of  the  "Rock  of 
Ages"  and  gazed  up  at  its  smooth  glistening  surface,  a  tumult  of  emotions  undoubtedly  racked  his 
soul.  The  casing  stones  must  have  been  in  place  at  the  time  of  his  visit,  for  the  Caliph  could  find  no 
indication  of  an  entrance—four  perfectly  smooth  surfaces  confronted  him.  Following  vague  rumors, 
he  set  his  followers  to  work  on  the  north  side  of  the  Pyramid,  with  instructions  to  keep  on  cutting  and 
chiseling  until  they  discovered  something.  To  the  Moslems  with  their  crude  instruments  and  vinegar 
it  was  a  herculean  effort  to  tunnel  a  full  hundred  feet  through  the  limestone.  Many  times  they  were  on 
the  point  of  rebellion,  but  the  word  of  the  Caliph  was  law  and  the  hope  of  a  vast  fortune  buoyed  them 

At  last  on  the  eve  of  total  discouragement  fate  came  to  their  rescue.  A  great  stone  was  heard  to  fall 
somewhere  in  the  wall  near  the  toiling  and  disgruntled  Arabs.  Pushing  on  toward  the  sound  with 
renewed  enthusiasm,  they  finally  broke  into  the  descending  passage  which  leads  into  the 
subterranean  chamber.  They  then  chiseled  their  way  around  the  great  stone  portcullis  which  had 
fallen  into  a  position  barring  their  progress,  and  attacked  and  removed  one  after  another  the  granite 
plugs  which  for  a  while  continued  to  slide  down  the  passage  leading  from  the  Queen's  Chamber  above. 

Finally  no  more  blocks  descended  and  the  way  was  clear  for  the  followers  of  the  Prophet.  But  where 
were  the  treasures?  From  room  to  room  the  frantic  workmen  rushed,  looking  in  vain  for  loot.  The 
discontent  of  the  Moslems  reached  such  a  height  that  Caliph  al  Mamoun— who  had  inherited  much  of 
the  wisdom  of  his  illustrious  father,  the  Caliph  al  Raschid— sent  to  Bagdad  for  funds,  which  he  caused 
to  be  secretly  buried  near  the  entrance  of  the  Pyramid.  He  then  ordered  his  men  to  dig  at  that  spot 
and  great  was  their  rejoicing  when  the  treasure  was  discovered,  the  workmen  being  deeply  impressed 
by  the  wisdom  of  the  antediluvian  monarch  who  had  carefully  estimated  their  wages  and  thoughtfully 
caused  the  exact  amount  to  be  buried  for  their  benefit! 

The  Caliph  then  returned  to  the  city  of  his  fathers  and  the  Great  Pyramid  was  left  to  the  mercy  of 
succeeding  generations.  In  the  ninth  century  the  sun's  rays  striking  the  highly  polished  surfaces  of  the 
original  casing  stones  caused  each  side  of  the  Pyramid  to  appear  as 


From  Levi's  Les  Mysteres  de  la  Kaballe. 

The  Egyptian  Sphinx  is  closely  related  to  the  Greek  legend  of  (Edipus,  who  first  solved  the  famous  riddle  propounded  by 
the  mysterious  creature  with  the  body  of  a  winged  lion  and  the  head  of  a  woman  which  frequented  the  highway  leading  to 
Thebes.  To  each  who  passed  her  lair  the  sphinx  addressed  the  question,  "What  animal  is  it  that  in  the  morning  goes  on 
four  feet,  at  noon  on  two  feet,  and  in  the  evening  on  three  feet?"  These  who  failed  to  answer  her  riddle  she  destroyed. 
CEdipus  declared  the  answer  to  be  man  himself,  who  in  childhood  crawled  upon  his  hands  and  knees,  in  manhood  stood 
erect,  and  in  old  age  shuffled  along  supporting  himself  by  a  staff.  Discovering  one  who  knew  the  answer  to  her  riddle,  the 
sphinx  cast  herself  from  the  cliff  which  bordered  the  road  and  perished. 

There  is  still  another  answer  to  the  riddle  of  the  sphinx,  an  answer  best  revealed  by  a  consideration  of  the  Pythagorean 
values  of  numbers.  The  4,  the  2  and  the  3  produce  the  sum  of  9,  which  is  the  natural  number  of  man  and  also  of  the  lower 
worlds.  The  4  represents  the  ignorant  man,  the  2  the  intellectual  man,  and  the  3  the  spiritual  man.  Infant  humanity  walks 
on  four  legs,  evolving  humanity  on  two  legs,  and  to  the  power  of  his  own  mind  the  redeemed  and  illumined  magus  adds 
the  staff  of  wisdom.  The  sphinx  is  therefore  the  mystery  of  Nature,  the  embodiment  of  the  secret  doctrine,  and  all  who 
cannot  solve  her  riddle  perish.  To  pass  the  sphinx  is  to  attain  personal  immortality. 

p.  42 

a  dazzling  triangle  of  light.  Since  that  time,  all  but  two  of  these  casing  stones  have  disappeared. 
Investigation  has  resulted  in  their  discovery,  recut  and  resurfaced,  in  the  walls  of  Mohammedan 
mosques  and  palaces  in  various  parts  of  Cairo  and  its  environs. 


C.  Piazzi  Smyth  asks:  "Was  the  Great  Pyramid,  then,  erected  before  the  invention  of  hieroglyphics, 

and  previous  to  the  birth  of  the  Egyptian  religion?"  Time  may  yet  prove  that  the  upper  chambers  of 
the  Pyramid  were  a  sealed  mystery  before  the  establishment  of  the  Egyptian  empire.  In  the 
subterranean  chamber,  however,  are  markings  which  indicate  that  the  Romans  gained  admission 
there.  In  the  light  of  the  secret  philosophy  of  the  Egyptian  initiates,  W.  W.  Harmon,  by  a  series  of 
extremely  complicated  yet  exact  mathematical  calculations;  determines  that  the  first  ceremonial  of 
the  Pyramid  was  performed  68,890  years  ago  on  the  occasion  when  the  star  Vega  for  the  first  time 

sent  its  ray  down  the  descending  passage  into  the  pit.  The  actual  building  of  the  Pyramid  was 
accomplished  in  the  period  of  from  ten  to  fifteen  years  immediately  preceding  this  date. 

While  such  figures  doubtless  will  evoke  the  ridicule  of  modern  Egyptologists,  they  are  based  upon  an 
exhaustive  study  of  the  principles  of  sidereal  mechanics  as  incorporated  into  the  structure  of  the 
Pyramid  by  its  initiated  builders.  If  the  casing  stones  were  in  position  at  the  beginning  of  the  ninth 
century,  the  so-called  erosion  marks  upon  the  outside  were  not  due  to  water.  The  theory  also  that  the 
salt  upon  the  interior  stones  of  the  Pyramid  is  evidence  that  the  building  was  once  submerged  is 
weakened  by  the  scientific  fact  that  this  kind  of  stone  is  subject  to  exudations  of  salt.  While  the 
building  may  have  been  submerged,  at  least  in  part,  during  the  many  thousands  of  years  since  its 
erection,  the  evidence  adduced  to  prove  this  point  is  not  conclusive. 

The  Great  Pyramid  was  built  of  limestone  and  granite  throughout,  the  two  kinds  of  rock  being 
combined  in  a  peculiar  and  significant  manner.  The  stones  were  trued  with  the  utmost  precision,  and 
the  cement  used  was  of  such  remarkable  quality  that  it  is  now  practically  as  hard  as  the  stone  itself. 
The  limestone  blocks  were  sawed  with  bronze  saws,  the  teeth  of  which  were  diamonds  or  other  jewels. 
The  chips  from  the  stones  were  piled  against  the  north  side  of  the  plateau  on  which  the  structure 
stands,  where  they  form  an  additional  buttress  to  aid  in  supporting  the  weight  of  the  structure.  The 
entire  Pyramid  is  an  example  of  perfect  orientation  and  actually  squares  the  circle.  This  last  is 
accomplished  by  dropping  a  vertical  line  from  the  apex  of  the  Pyramid  to  its  base  line.  If  this  vertical 
line  be  considered  as  the  radius  of  an  imaginary  circle,  the  length  of  the  circumference  of  such  a  circle 
will  be  found  to  equal  the  sum  of  the  base  lines  of  the  four  sides  of  the  Pyramid. 

If  the  passage  leading  to  the  King's  Chamber  and  the  Queen's  Chamber  was  sealed  up  thousands  of 
years  before  the  Christian  Era,  those  later  admitted  into  the  Pyramid  Mysteries  must  have  received 
their  initiations  in  subterranean  galleries  now  unknown.  Without  such  galleries  there  could  have  been 
no  possible  means  of  ingress  or  egress,  since  the  single  surface  entrance  was  completely  dosed  with 
casing  stones.  If  not  blocked  by  the  mass  of  the  Sphinx  or  concealed  in  some  part  of  that  image,  the 
secret  entrance  may  be  either  in  one  of  the  adjacent  temples  or  upon  the  sides  of  the  limestone 

Attention  is  called  to  the  granite  plugs  filling  the  ascending  passageway  to  the  Queen's  Chamber 
which  Caliph  al  Mamoun  was  forced  practically  to  pulverize  before  he  could  clear  a  way  into  the  upper 
chambers.  C.  Piazzi  Sm5ith  notes  that  the  positions  of  the  stones  demonstrate  that  they  were  set  in 
place  from  above—which  made  it  necessary  for  a  considerable  number  of  workmen  to  depart  from  the 
upper  chambers.  How  did  they  do  it?  Smyth  believes  they  descended  through  the  well  (see  diagram), 
dropping  the  ramp  stone  into  place  behind  them.  He  further  contends  that  robbers  probably  used  the 
well  as  a  means  of  getting  into  the  upper  chambers.  The  ramp  stone  having  been  set  in  a  bed  of 
plaster,  the  robbers  were  forced  to  break  through  it,  leaving  a  jagged  opening.  Mr.  Dupre,  an  architect 
who  has  spent  years  investigating  the  pyramids,  differs  from  Smyth,  however,  in  that  he  believes  the 
well  itself  to  be  a  robbers'  hole,  being  the  first  successful  attempt  made  to  enter  the  upper  chambers 
from  the  subterranean  chamber,  then  the  only  open  section  of  the  Pyramid. 

Mr.  Dupre  bases  his  conclusion  upon  the  fact  that  the  well  is  merely  a  rough  hole  and  the  grotto  an 
irregular  chamber,  without  any  evidence  of  the  architectural  precision  with  which  the  remainder  of 
the  structure  was  erected.  The  diameter  of  the  well  also  precludes  the  possibility  of  its  having  been 
dug  downward;  it  must  have  been  gouged  out  from  below,  and  the  grotto  was  necessary  to  supply  air 
to  the  thieves.  It  is  inconceivable  that  the  Pyramid  builders  would  break  one  of  their  own  ramp  stones 
and  leave  its  broken  surface  and  a  gaping  hole  in  the  side  wall  of  their  otherwise  perfect  gallery.  If  the 
well  is  a  robbers'  hole,  it  may  explain  why  the  Pyramid  was  empty  when  Caliph  al  Mamoun  entered  it 
and  what  happened  to  the  missing  coffer  lid.  A  careful  examination  of  the  so-called  unfinished 
subterranean  chamber,  which  must  have  been  the  base  of  operations  for  the  robbers,  might  disclose 
traces  of  their  presence  or  show  where  they  piled  the  rubble  which  must  have  accumulated  as  a  result 

of  their  operations.  While  it  is  not  entirely  clear  by  what  entrance  the  robbers  reached  the 
subterranean  chamber,  it  is  improbable  that  they  used  the  descending  passageway. 

There  is  a  remarkable  niche  in  the  north  wall  of  the  Queen's  Chamber  which  the  Mohammedan 
guides  glibly  pronounce  to  be  a  shrine.  The  general  shape  of  this  niche,  however,  with  its  walls 
converging  by  a  series  of  overlaps  like  those  of  the  Grand  Gallery,  would  indicate  that  originally  it  had 
been  intended  as  a  passageway.  Efforts  made  to  explore  this  niche  have  been  nonproductive,  but  Mr. 
Dupre  believes  an  entrance  to  exist  here  through  which—if  the  well  did  not  exist  at  the  time—the 
workmen  made  their  exit  from  the  Pyramid  after  dropping  the  stone  plugs  into  the  ascending  gallery. 

Biblical  scholars  have  contributed  a  number  of  most  extraordinary  conceptions  regarding  the  Great 
Pyramid.  This  ancient  edifice  has  been  identified  by  them  as  Joseph's  granary  (despite  its  hopelessly 
inadequate  capacity);  as  the  tomb  prepared  for  the  unfortunate  Pharaoh  of  the  Exodus  who  could  not 
be  buried  there  because  his  body  was  never  recovered  from  the  Red  Sea;  and  finally  as  a  perpetual 
confirmation  of  the  infallibility  of  the  numerous  prophecies  contained  in  the  Authorized  Version! 


Although  the  Great  Pyramid,  as  Ignatius  Donnelly  has  demonstrated,  is  patterned  after  an 
antediluvian  type  of  architecture,  examples  of  which  are  to  be  found  in  nearly  every  part  of  the  world, 
the  Sphinx  (Hu)  is  typically  Egyptian.  The  stele  between  its  paws  states  the  Sphinx  is  an  image  of  the 
Sun  God,  Harmackis,  which  was  evidently  made  in  the  similitude  of  the  Pharaoh  during  whose  reign 
it  was  chiseled.  The  statue  was  restored  and  completely  excavated  by  Tahutmes  IV  as  the  result  of  a 
vision  in  which  the  god  had  appeared  and  declared  himself  oppressed  by  the  weight  of  the  sand  about 
his  body.  The  broken  beard  of  the  Sphinx  was  discovered  during  excavations  between  the  front  paws. 
The  steps  leading  up  to  the  sphinx  and  also  the  temple  and  altar  between  the  paws  are  much  later 
additions,  probably  Roman,  for  it  is  known  that  the  Romans  reconstructed  many  Egyptian  antiquities. 
The  shallow  depression  in  the  crown  of  the  head,  once  thought  to  be  the  terminus  of  a  closed  up 
passageway  leading  from  the  Sphinx  to  the  Great  Pyramid,  was  merely  intended  to  help  support  a 
headdress  now  missing. 

Metal  rods  have  been  driven  into  the  Sphinx  in  a  vain  effort  to  discover  chambers  or  passages  within 
its  body.  The  major  part  of  the  Sphinx  is  a  single  stone,  but  the  front  paws  have  been  built  up  of 
smaller  stones.  The  Sphinx  is  about  200  feet  long,  70  feet  high,  and  38  feet  wide  across  the  shoulders. 
The  main  stone  from  which  it  was  carved  is  believed  by  some  to  have  been  transported  from  distant 
quarries  by  methods  unknown,  while  others  assert  it  to  be  native  rock,  possibly  an  outcropping 
somewhat  resembling  the  form  into  which  it  was  later  carved.  The  theory  once  advanced  that  both  the 
Pyramid  and  the  Sphinx  were  built  from  artificial  stones  made  on  the  spot  has  been  abandoned.  A 
careful  analysis  of  the  limestone  shows  it  to  be  composed  of  small  sea  creatures  called  mummulites. 

The  popular  supposition  that  the  Sphinx  was  the  true  portal  of  the  Great  Pyramid,  while  it  survives 
with  surprising  tenacity,  has  never  been  substantiated.  P.  Christian  presents  this  theory  as  follows, 
basing  it  in  part  upon  the  authority  of  lamblichus: 

"The  Sphinx  of  Gizeh,  says  the  author  of  the  Traite  des  Mysteres,  served  as  the  entrance  to  the  sacred 
subterranean  chambers  in  which  the  trials  of  the  initiate  were  undergone.  This  entrance,  obstructed 
in  our  day  by  sands  and  rubbish,  may  still  be  traced  between  the  forelegs  of  the  crouched  colossus.  It 
was  formerly  closed  by  a  bronze  gate  whose  secret  spring  could  be  operated  only  by  the  Magi.  It  was 
guarded  by  public  respect:  and  a  sort  of  religious  fear  maintained  its  inviolability  better  than  armed 
protection  would  have  done.  In  the  belly  of  the  Sphinx  were  cut  out  galleries  leading  to  the 
subterranean  part  of  the  Great  Pyramid.  These  galleries  were  so  artfully  crisscrossed  along  their 
course  to  the  Pyramid  that  in  setting  forth  into  the  passage  without  a  guide  through  this  network,  one 
ceaselessly  and  inevitably  returned  to  the  starting  point."  (See  Histoire  de  la  Magie.) 

Unfortunately,  the  bronze  door  referred  to  cannot  be  found,  nor  is  there  any  evidence  that  it  ever  existed.  The  passing  centuries  have 
wrought  many  changes  in  the  colossus,  however,  and  the  original  opening  may  have  been  closed. 

Nearly  all  students  of  the  subject  believe  that  subterranean  chambers  exist  beneath  the  Great  Pyramid.  Robert  Ballard  writes:  "The  priests 
of  the  Pyramids  of  Lake  Moeris  had  their  vast  subterranean  residences.  It  appears  to  me  more  than  probable  that  those  of  Gizeh  were 
similarly  provided.  And  I  may  go  further:~Out  of  these  very  caverns  may  have  been  excavated  the  limestone  of  which  the  Pyramids  were 
built.  *  *  *  In  the  bowels  of  the  limestone  ridge  on  which 


VtriidSali  Sa-tij>n/,  Iseidu  Wtst/, 


By    jtM^Mjjmi  ^it/. 

^  .Ti-   '  — J-  B> 


From  Smyth's  Life  and  Wok  at  the  Great  Pyramid. 

The  Great  Pyramid  stands  upon  a  limestone  plateau  at  the  base  of  which,  according  to  ancient  history,  the  Nile  once 
flooded,  thus  supplying  a  method  for  the  huge  blocks  used  in  its  construction.  Presuming  that  the  capstone  as  originally  in 
place,  the  Pyramid  is,  according  to  John  Taylor,  in  round  figures  486  feet  high;  the  base  of  each  side  is  764  feet  long,  and 
the  entire  structure  covers  a  ground  area  of  more  than  13  acres. 

The  Great  Pyramid  is  the  only  one  in  the  group  at  Gizeh~in  fact,  as  far  as  known,  the  only  one  in  Egypt—that  has 
chambers  within  the  actual  body  of  the  Pyramid  itself  Far  this  reason  it  is  said  to  refute  the  Lepsius  Law,  which  asserts 
that  each  of  these  structures  is  a  monument  raised  over  a  subterranean  chamber  in  which  a  ruler  is  entombed.  The 
Pyramid  contains  four  chambers,  which  in  the  diagram  are  lettered  K,  H,  F,  and  O. 

The  King's  Chamber  (K)  is  an  oblong  apartment  39  feet  long,  17  felt  wide,  and  19  feet  high  (disregarding  fractional  parts  of 
a  foot  in  each  case),  with  a  flat  roof  consisting  of  nine  great  stones,  the  largest  in  the  Pyramid.  Above  the  King's  Chamber 
are  five  low  compartments  (L),  generally  termed  construction  chambers.  In  the  lowest  of  these  the  so-called  hieroglj^hs 
of  the  Pharaoh  Cheops  are  located.  The  roof  of  the  fifth  construction  chamber  is  peaked.  At  the  end  of  the  King's  Chamber 
opposite  the  entrance  stands  the  famous  sarcophagus,  or  coffer  (I),  and  behind  it  is  a  shallow  opening  that  was  dug  in  the 
hope  of  discovering  valuables.  Two  air  vents  (M,  N)  passing  through  the  entire  body  of  the  Pyramid  ventilate  the  King's 
Chamber.  In  itself  this  is  sufficient  to  establish  that  the  building  was  not  intended  for  a  tomb. 

Between  the  upper  end  of  the  Grand  Gallery  (G.  G.)  and  the  King's  Chamber  is  a  small  antechamber  (H),  its  extreme 
length  9  feet,  its  extreme  width  5  feet,  and  its  extreme  height  12  feet,  with  its  walls  grooved  far  purposes  now  unknown.  In 
the  groove  nearest  the  Grand  Gallery  is  a  slab  of  stone  in  two  sections,  with  a  peculiar  boss  or  knob  protruding  about  an 
inch  from  the  surface  of  the  upper  part  facing  the  Grand  Gallery.  This  stone  does  not  reach  to  the  floor  of  the  antechamber 
and  those  entering  the  King's  Chamber  must  pass  under  the  slab.  From  the  King's  Chamber,  the  Grand  Gallery— 157  feet  in 
length,  28  feet  in  height,  7  feet  in  width  at  its  widest  point  and  decreasing  to  31/2  feet  as  the  result  of  seven  converging 
overlaps,  of  the  stones  forming  the  walls— descends  to  a  little  above  the  level  of  the  Queen's  Chamber.  Here  a  gallery  (E) 
branches  off,  passing  mere  than  100  feet  back  towards  the  center  of  the  Pyramid  and  opening  into  the  Queen's  Chamber 
(F).  The  Queen's  Chamber  is  19  feet  long,  17  feet  wide,  and  20  feet  high.  Its  roof  is  peaked  and  composed  of  great  slabs  of 
stone.  Air  passages  not  shown  lead  from  the  Queen's  Chamber,  but  these  were  not  open  originally.  In  the  east  wall  of  the 
Queen's  Chamber  is  a  peculiar  niche  of  gradually  converging  stone,  which  in  all  likelihood,  may  prove  to  be  a  new  lost 
entrance  way. 

At  the  paint  where  the  Grand  Gallery  ends  and  the  horizontal  passage  towards  the  Queen's  Chamber  begins  is  the 
entrance  to  the  well  and  also  the  opening  leading  down  the  first  ascending  passage  (D)  to  the  point  where  this  passage 
meets  the  descending  passage  (A)  leading  from  the  outer  wall  of  the  Pyramid  down  to  the  subterranean  chamber.  After 
descending  59  feet  down  the  well  (P),  the  grotto  is  reached.  Continuing  through  the  floor  of  the  grotto  the  well  leads 
downward  133  feet  to  the  descending  entrance  passage  (A),  which  it  meets  a  short  distance  before  this  passage  becomes 
horizontal  and  leads  into  the  subterranean  chamber. 

The  subterranean  chamber  (O)  is  about  46  feet  long  and  27  feet  wide,  but  is  extremely  low,  the  ceiling  varying  in  height 
from  a  little  over  3  feet  to  about  13  feet  fi-om  the  rough  and  apparently  unflnished  floor.  From  the  south  side  of  the 
subterranean  chamber  a  low  tunnel  runs  about  50  feet  and  then  meets  a  blank  wall.  These  constitute  the  only  known 
openings  in  the  Pyramid,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  niches,  exploration  holes,  blind  passages,  and  the  rambling 
cavernous  tunnel  (B)  hewn  out  by  the  Moslems  under  the  leadership  of  the  Prophet's  descendant.  Caliph  al  Mamoun. 

the  Pyramids  are  built  will  yet  be  found,  I  feel  convinced,  ample  information  as  to  their  uses.  A  good 
diamond  drill  with  two  or  three  hundred  feet  of  rods  is  what  is  wanted  to  test  this,  and  the  solidarity 
of  the  Pyramids  at  the  same  time."  (See  The  Solution  of  the  Pyramid  Problem.) 

Mr.  Ballard's  theory  of  extensive  underground  apartments  and  quarries  brings  up  an  important 
problem  in  architectonics.  The  Pyramid  builders  were  too  farsighted  to  endanger  the  permanence  of 
the  Great  Pyramid  by  placing  over  five  million  tons  of  limestone  and  granite  on  any  but  a  solid 
foundation.  It  is  therefore  reasonably  certain  that  such  chambers  or  passageways  as  may  exist 
beneath  the  building  are  relatively  insignificant,  like  those  within  the  body  of  the  structure,  which 
occupy  less  than  one  sixteen-hundredth  of  the  cubic  contents  of  the  Pyramid. 

The  Sphinx  was  undoubtedly  erected  for  symbolical  purposes  at  the  instigation  of  the  priestcraft.  The 
theories  that  the  urseus  upon  its  forehead  was  originally  the  finger  of  an  immense  sundial  and  that 

both  the  Pyramid  and  the  Sphinx  were  used  to  measure  time,  the  seasons,  and  the  precession  of  the 
equinoxes  are  ingenious  but  not  wholly  convincing.  If  this  great  creature  was  erected  to  obliterate  the 
ancient  passageway  leading  into  the  subterranean  temple  of  the  Pyramid,  its  symbolism  would  be 
most  appropriate.  In  comparison  with  the  overwhelming  size  and  dignity  of  the  Great  Pyramid,  the 
Sphinx  is  almost  insignificant.  Its  battered  face,  upon  which  may  still  be  seen  vestiges  of  the  red  paint 
with  which  the  figure  was  originally  covered,  is  disfigured  beyond  recognition.  Its  nose  was  broken  off 
by  a  fanatical  Mohammedan,  lest  the  followers  of  the  Prophet  be  led  into  idolatry.  The  very  nature  of 
its  construction  and  the  present  repairs  necessary  to  prevent  the  head  from  falling  off  indicate  that  it 
could  not  have  survived  the  great  periods  of  time  which  have  elapsed  since  the  erection  of  the 

To  the  Egyptians,  the  Sphinx  was  the  symbol  of  strength  and  intelligence.  It  was  portrayed  as 
androgynous  to  signify  that  they  recognized  the  initiates  and  gods  as  partaking  of  both  the  positive 
and  negative  creative  powers.  Gerald  Massey  writes:  "This  is  the  secret  of  the  Sphinx.  The  orthodox 
sphinx  of  Egypt  is  masculine  in  front  and  feminine  behind.  So  is  the  image  of  Sut-Typhon,  a  type  of 
horn  and  tail,  male  in  front  and  female  behind.  The  Pharaohs,  who  wore  the  tail  of  the  Lioness  or  Cow 
behind  them,  were  male  in  front  and  female  behind.  Like  the  Gods  they  included  the  dual  totality  of 
Being  in  one  person,  born  of  the  Mother,  but  of  both  sexes  as  the  Child."  (See  The  Natural  Genesis.) 

Most  investigators  have  ridiculed  the  Sphinx  and,  without  even  deigning  to  investigate  the  great 
colossus,  have  turned  their  attention  to  the  more  overwhelming  mystery  of  the  Pyramid. 


The  word  pyramid  is  popularly  supposed  to  be  derived  from  nvp,  fire,  thus  signifying  that  it  is  the 
symbolic  representation  of  the  One  Divine  Flame,  the  life  of  every  creature.  John  Taylor  believes  the 
word  pyramid  to  mean  a  "measure  of  wheat,  "  while  C.  Piazzi  Smyth  favors  the  Coptic  meaning,  "a 
division  into  ten."  The  initiates  of 


old  accepted  the  pyramid  form  as  the  ideal  symbol  of  both  the  secret  doctrine  and  those  institutions 
established  for  its  dissemination.  Both  pyramids  and  mounds  are  antitypes  of  the  Holy  Mountain,  or 
High  Place  of  God,  which  was  believed  to  stand  in  the  "midst"  of  the  earth.  John  P.  Lundy  relates  the 
Great  Pyramid  to  the  fabled  Olympus,  further  assuming  that  its  subterranean  passages  correspond  to 
the  tortuous  byways  of  Hades. 

The  square  base  of  the  Pyramid  is  a  constant  reminder  that  the  House  of  Wisdom  is  firmly  founded 
upon  Nature  and  her  immutable  laws.  "The  Gnostics,"  writes  Albert  Pike,  "claimed  that  the  whole 
edifice  of  their  science  rested  on  a  square  whose  angles  were:  Siyr),  Silence;  BuGog,  Profundity;  Noug, 
Intelligence;  and  AXriGeia  Truth."  (See  Morals  and  Dogma.)  The  sides  of  the  Great  Pyramid  face  the 
four  cardinal  angles,  the  latter  signifying  according  to  Eliphas  Levi  the  extremities  of  heat  and  cold 
(south  and  north)  and  the  extremities  of  light  and  darkness  (east  and  west).  The  base  of  the  Pyramid 
further  represents  the  four  material  elements  or  substances  from  the  combinations  of  which  the 
quaternary  body  of  man  is  formed.  From  each  side  of  the  square  there  rises  a  triangle,  typifying  the 
threefold  divine  being  enthroned  within  every  quaternary  material  nature.  If  each  base  line  be 
considered  a  square  from  which  ascends  a  threefold  spiritual  power,  then  the  sum  of  the  lines  of  the 
four  faces  (12)  and  the  four  hypothetical  squares  (16)  constituting  the  base  is  28,  the  sacred  number 
of  the  lower  world.  If  this  be  added  to  the  three  septenaries  composing  the  sun  (21),  it  equals  49,  the 
square  of  7  and  the  number  of  the  universe. 

The  twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac,  like  the  Governors'  of  the  lower  worlds,  are  symbolized  by  the  twelve 
lines  of  the  four  triangles—the  faces  of  the  Pyramid.  In  the  midst  of  each  face  is  one  of  the  beasts  of 

Ezekiel,  and  the  structure  as  a  whole  becomes  the  Cherubim.  The  three  main  chambers  of  the 

Pyramid  are  related  to  the  heart,  the  brain,  and  the  generative  system—the  spiritual  centers  of  the 
human  constitution.  The  triangular  form  of  the  Pyramid  also  is  similar  to  the  posture  assumed  by  the 
body  during  the  ancient  meditative  exercises.  The  Mysteries  taught  that  the  divine  energies  from  the 
gods  descended  upon  the  top  of  the  Pyramid,  which  was  likened  to  an  inverted  tree  with  its  branches 
below  and  its  roots  at  the  apex.  From  this  inverted  tree  the  divine  wisdom  is  disseminated  by 
streaming  down  the  diverging  sides  and  radiating  throughout  the  world. 

The  size  of  the  capstone  of  the  Great  Pyramid  cannot  be  accurately  determined,  for,  while  most 
investigators  have  assumed  that  it  was  once  in  place,  no  vestige  of  it  now  remains.  There  is  a  curious 
tendency  among  the  builders  of  great  religious  edifices  to  leave  their  creations  unfinished,  thereby 
signifying  that  God  alone  is  complete.  The  capstone—if  it  existed— was  itself  a  miniature  pyramid,  the 
apex  of  which  again  would  be  capped  by  a  smaller  block  of  similar  shape,  and  so  on  ad  infinitum.  The 
capstone  therefore  is  the  epitome  of  the  entire  structure.  Thus,  the  Pyramid  may  be  likened  to  the 
universe  and  the  capstone  to  man.  Following  the  chain  of  analogy,  the  mind  is  the  capstone  of  man, 
the  spirit  the  capstone  of  the  mind,  and  God— the  epitome  of  the  whole— the  capstone  of  the  spirit.  As 
a  rough  and  unfinished  block,  man  is  taken  from  the  quarry  and  by  the  secret  culture  of  the  Mysteries 
gradually  transformed  into  a  trued  and  perfect  pyramidal  capstone.  The  temple  is  complete  only 
when  the  initiate  himself  becomes  the  living  apex  through  which  the  divine  power  is  focused  into  the 
diverging  structure  below. 

W.  Marsham  Adams  calls  the  Great  Pyramid  "the  House  of  the  Hidden  Places";  such  indeed  it  was, 
for  it  represented  the  inner  sanctuary  of  pre-Egyptian  wisdom.  By  the  Egyptians  the  Great  Pyramid 
was  associated  with  Hermes,  the  god  of  wisdom  and  letters  and  the  Divine  Illuminator  worshiped 
through  the  planet  Mercury.  Relating  Hermes  to  the  Pyramid  emphasizes  anew  the  fact  that  it  was  in 
reality  the  supreme  temple  of  the  Invisible  and  Supreme  Deity.  The  Great  Pyramid  was  not  a 
lighthouse,  an  observatory,  or  a  tomb,  but  the  first  temple  of  the  Mysteries,  the  first  structure  erected 
as  a  repository  for  those  secret  truths  which  are  the  certain  foundation  of  all  arts  and  sciences.  It  was 
the  perfect  emblem  of  the  microcosm  and  the  macrocosm  and,  according  to  the  secret  teachings,  the 
tomb  of  Osiris,  the  black  god  of  the  Nile.  Osiris  represents  a  certain  manifestation  of  solar  energy,  and 
therefore  his  house  or  tomb  is  emblematic  of  the  universe  within  which  he  is  entombed  and  upon  the 
cross  of  which  he  is  crucified. 

Through  the  mystic  passageways  and  chambers  of  the  Great  Pyramid  passed  the  illumined  of 
antiquity.  They  entered  its  portals  as  men;  they  came  forth  as  gods.  It  was  the  place  of  the  "second 
birth,"  the  "womb  of  the  Mysteries,"  and  wisdom  dwelt  in  it  as  God  dwells  in  the  hearts  of  men. 
Somewhere  in  the  depths  of  its  recesses  there  resided  an  unknown  being  who  was  called  "The 
Initiator,"  or  "The  Illustrious  One,"  robed  in  blue  and  gold  and  bearing  in  his  hand  the  sevenfold  key 
of  Eternity.  This  was  the  lion-faced  hierophant,  the  Holy  One,  the  Master  of  Masters,  who  never  left 
the  House  of  Wisdom  and  whom  no  man  ever  saw  save  he  who  had  passed  through  the  gates  of 
preparation  and  purification.  It  was  in  these  chambers  that  Plato— he  of  the  broad  brow — came  face 
to  face  with  the  wisdom  of  the  ages  personified  in  the  Master  of  the  Hidden  House. 

Who  was  the  Master  dwelling  in  the  mighty  Pyramid,  the  many  rooms  of  which  signified  the  worlds  in 
space;  the  Master  whom  none  might  behold  save  those  who  had  been  "born  again"?  He  alone  fully 
knew  the  secret  of  the  Pyramid,  but  he  has  departed  the  way  of  the  wise  and  the  house  is  empty.  The 
hymns  of  praise  no  longer  echo  in  muffled  tones  through  the  chambers;  the  neophyte  no  longer 
passes  through  the  elements  and  wanders  among  the  seven  stars;  the  candidate  no  longer  receives  the 
"Word  of  Life"  from  the  lips  of  the  Eternal  One.  Nothing  now  remains  that  the  eye  of  man  can  see  but 
an  empty  shell— the  outer  symbol  of  an  inner  truth— and  men  call  the  House  of  God  a  tomb! 

The  technique  of  the  Mysteries  was  unfolded  by  the  Sage  Illuminator,  the  Master  of  the  Secret  House. 
The  power  to  know  his  guardian  spirit  was  revealed  to  the  new  initiate;  the  method  of  disentangling 

his  material  body  from,  his  divine  vehicle  was  explained;  and  to  consummate  the  magnum  opus, 
there  was  revealed  the  Divine  Name—the  secret  and  unutterable  designation  of  the  Supreme  Deity,  by 
the  very  knowledge  of  which  man  and  his  God  are  made  consciously  one.  With  the  giving  of  the  Name, 
the  new  initiate  became  himself  a  pyramid,  within  the  chambers  of  whose  soul  numberless  other 
human  beings  might  also  receive  spiritual  enlightenment. 

In  the  King's  Chamber  was  enacted  the  drama  of  the  "second  death."  Here  the  candidate,  after  being 
crucified  upon  the  cross  of  the  solstices  and  the  equinoxes,  was  buried  in  the  great  coffer.  There  is  a 
profound  mystery  to  the  atmosphere  and  temperature  of  the  King's  Chamber:  it  is  of  a  peculiar 
deathlike  cold  which  cuts  to  the  marrow  of  the  bone.  This  room  was  a  doorway  between  the  material 
world  and  the  transcendental  spheres  of  Nature.  While  his  body  lay  in  the  coffer,  the  soul  of  the 
neophyte  soared  as  a  human-headed  hawk  through  the  celestial  realms,  there  to  discover  first  hand 
the  eternity  of  Life,  Light,  and  Truth,  as  well  as  the  illusion  of  Death,  Darkness,  and  Sin.  Thus  in  one 
sense  the  Great  Pyramid  may  be  likened  to  a  gate  through  which  the  ancient  priests  permitted  a  few 
to  pass  toward  the  attainment  of  individual  completion.  It  is  also  to  be  noted  incidentally  that  if  the 
coffer  in  the  King's  Chamber  be  struck,  the  sound  emitted  has  no  counterpart  in  any  known  musical 
scale.  This  tonal  value  may  have  formed  part  of  that  combination  of  circumstances  which  rendered 
the  King's  Chamber  an  ideal  setting  for  the  conferment  of  the  highest  degree  of  the  Mysteries. 

The  modern  world  knows  little  of  these  ancient  rites.  The  scientist  and  the  theologian  alike  gaze  upon 
the  sacred  structure,  wondering  what  fundamental  urge  inspired  the  herculean  labor.  If  they  would 
but  think  for  a  moment,  they  would  realize  that  there  is  only  one  urge  in  the  soul  of  man  capable  of 
supplying  the  required  incentive—namely,  the  desire  to  know,  to  understand,  and  to  exchange  the 
narrowness  of  human  mortality  for  the  greater  breadth  and  scope  of  divine  enlightenment.  So  men 
say  of  the  Great  Pjramid  that  it  is  the  most  perfect  building  in  the  world,  the  source  of  weights  and 
measures,  the  original  Noah's  Ark,  the  origin  of  languages,  alphabets,,  and  scales  of  temperature  and 
humidity.  Few  realize,  however,  that  it  is  the  gateway  to  the  Eternal. 

Though  the  modern  world  may  know  a  million  secrets,  the  ancient  world  knew  one— and  that  one  was 
greater  than  the  million;  for  the  million  secrets  breed  death,  disaster,  sorrow,  selfishness,  lust,  and 
avarice,  but  the  one  secret  confers  life,  light,  and  truth.  The  time  will  come  when  the  secret  wisdom 
shall  again  be  the  dominating  religious  and  philosophical  urge  of  the  world.  The  day  is  at  hand  when 
the  doom  of  dogma  shall  be  sounded.  The  great  theological  Tower  of  Babel,  with  its  confusion  of 
tongues,  was  built  of  bricks  of  mud  and  the  mortar  of  slime.  Out  of  the  cold  ashes  of  lifeless  creeds, 
however,  shall  rise  phoenixlike  the  ancient  Mysteries.  No  other  institution  has  so  completely  satisfied 
the  religious  aspirations  of  humanity,  for  since  the  destruction  of  the  Mysteries  there  never  has  been  a 
religious  code  to  which  Plato  could  have  subscribed.  The  unfolding  of  man's  spiritual  nature  is  as 
much  an  exact  science  as  astronomy,  medicine  or  jurisprudence.  To  accomplish  this  end  religions 
were  primarily  established;  and  out  of  religion  have  come  science,  philosophy,  and  logic  as  methods 
whereby  this  divine  purpose  might  be  realized. 

The  Dying  God  shall  rise  again!  The  secret  room  in  the  House  of  the  Hidden  Places  shall  be 
rediscovered.  The  Pyramid  again  shall  stand  as  the  ideal  emblem  of  solidarity,  inspiration,  aspiration, 
resurrection,  and  regeneration.  As  the  passing  sands  of  time  bury  civilization  upon  civilization 
beneath  their  weight,  the  Pyramid  shall  remain  as  the  Visible  covenant  between  Eternal  Wisdom  and 
the  world.  The  time  may  yet  come  when  the  chants  of  the  illumined  shall  be  heard  once  more  in  its 
ancient  passageways  and  the  Master  of  the  Hidden  House  shall  await  in  the  Silent  Place  for  the 
coming  of  that  man  who,  casting  aside  the  fallacies  of  dogma  and  tenet,  seeks  simply  Truth  and  will 
be  satisfied  with  neither  substitute  nor  counterfeit. 


Isis,  the  Virgin  of  the  World 

IT  is  especially  fitting  that  a  study  of  Hermetic  symbolism  should  begin  with  a  discussion  of  the 
symbols  and  attributes  of  the  Saitic  Isis.  This  is  the  Isis  of  Sais,  famous  for  the  inscription  concerning 
her  which  appeared  on  the  front  of  her  temple  in  that  city:  "I,  Isis,  am  all  that  has  been,  that  is  or 
shall  be;  no  mortal  Man  hath  ever  me  unveiled." 

Plutarch  affirms  that  many  ancient  authors  believed  this  goddess  to  be  the  daughter  of  Hermes; 
others  held  the  opinion  that  she  was  the  child  of  Prometheus.  Both  of  these  demigods  were  noted  for 
their  divine  wisdom.  It  is  not  improbable  that  her  kinship  to  them  is  merely  allegorical.  Plutarch 
translates  the  name  Isis  to  mean  wisdom.  Godfrey  Higgins,  in  his  Anacalypsis,  derives  the  name  of 
Isis  from  the  Hebrew      Iso,  and  the  Greek  ^coco,  to  save.  Some  authorities,  however,  for  example, 
Richard  Payne  Knight  (as  stated  in  his  Symbolical  Language  of  Ancient  Art  and  Mythology),  believe 
the  word  to  be  of  Northern  extraction,  possibly  Scandinavian  or  Gothic.  In  these  languages  the  name 
is  pronounced  Isa,  meaning  ice,  or  water  in  its  most  passive,  crystallized,  negative  state. 

This  Egyptian  deity  under  many  names  appears  as  the  principle  of  natural  fecundity  among  nearly  all 
the  religions  of  the  ancient  world.  She  was  known  as  the  goddess  with  ten  thousand  appellations  and 
was  metamorphosed  by  Christianity  into  the  Virgin  Mary,  for  Isis,  although  she  gave  birth  to  all  living 
things—chief  among  them  the  Sun—still  remained  a  virgin,  according  to  the  legendary  accounts. 

Apuleius  in  the  eleventh  book  of  The  Golden  Ass  ascribes  to  the  goddess  the  following  statement 

concerning  her  powers  and  attributes:  "Behold,  *  *,  I,  moved  by  thy  prayers,  am  present  with  thee;  I, 
who  am  Nature,  the  parent  of  things,  the  queen  of  all  the  elements,  the  primordial  progeny  of  ages, 
the  supreme  of  Divinities,  the  sovereign  of  the  spirits  of  the  dead,  the  first  of  the  celestials,  and  the 
uniform  resemblance  of  Gods  and  Goddesses.  I,  who  rule  by  my  nod  the  luminous  summits  of  the 
heavens,  the  salubrious  breezes  of  the  sea,  and  the  deplorable  silences  of  the  realms  beneath,  and 
whose  one  divinity  the  whole  orb  of  the  earth  venerates  under  a  manifold  form,  by  different  rites  and 
a  variety  of  appellations.  Hence  the  primogenial  Phrygians  call  me  Pessinuntica,  the  mother  of  the 
Gods,  the  Attic  Aborigines,  Cecropian  Minerva;  the  floating  Cyprians,  Paphian  Venus;  the  arrow- 
bearing  Cretans,  Diana  Dictynna;  the  three-tongued  Sicilians,  Stygian  Proserpine;  and  the 
Eleusinians,  the  ancient  Goddess  Ceres.  Some  also  call  me  Juno,  others  Bellona,  others  Hecate,  and 
others  Rhamnusia.  And  those  who  are  illuminated  by  the  incipient  rays  of  that  divinity  the  Sun,  when 
he  rises,  viz.  the  Ethiopians,  the  Arii,  and  the  Egyptians  skilled  in  ancient  learning,  worshipping  me 
by  ceremonies  perfectly  appropriate,  call  me  by  my  true  name.  Queen  Isis." 

Le  Plongeon  believes  that  the  Egyptian  myth  of  Isis  had  a  historical  basis  among  the  Mayas  of  Central 
America,  where  this  goddess  was  known  as  Queen  Moo.  In  Prince  Coh  the  same  author  finds  a 
correspondence  to  Osiris,  the  brother-husband  of  Isis.  Le  Plongeon's  theory  is  that  Mayan  civilization 
was  far  more  ancient  than  that  of  Egypt.  After  the  death  of  Prince  Coh,  his  widow.  Queen  Moo,  fleeing 
to  escape  the  wrath  of  his  murderers,  sought  refuge  among  the  Mayan  colonies  in  Egypt,  where  she 
was  accepted  as  their  queen  and  was  given  the  name  of  Isis.  While  Le  Plongeon  may  be  right,  the 
possible  historical  queen  sinks  into  insignificance  when  compared  with  the  allegorical,  symbolic 
World  Virgin;  and  the  fact  that  she  appears  among  so  many  different  races  and  peoples  discredits  the 
theory  that  she  was  a  historical  individual. 

According  to  Sextus  Empyricus,  the  Trojan  war  was  fought  over  a  statue  of  the  moon  goddess.  For 
this  lunar  Helena,  and  not  for  a  woman,  the  Greeks  and  Trojans  struggled  at  the  gates  of  Troy. 

Several  authors  have  attempted  to  prove  that  Isis,  Osiris,  Typhon,  Nephthys,  and  Aroueris  (Thoth,  or 
Mercury)  were  grandchildren  of  the  great  Jewish  patriarch  Noah  by  his  son  Ham.  But  as  the  story  of 
Noah  and  his  ark  is  a  cosmic  allegory  concerning  the  repopulation  of  planets  at  the  beginning  of  each 
world  period,  this  only  makes  it  less  likely  that  they  were  historical  personages.  According  to  Robert 
Fludd,  the  sun  has  three  properties~/i/e,  light,  and  heat.  These  three  vivify  and  vitalize  the  three 
worlds—spiritual,  intellectual,  and  material.  Therefore,  it  is  said  "from  one  light,  three  lights,"  i.  e.  the 
first  three  Master  Masons.  In  all  probability,  Osiris  represents  the  third,  or  material,  aspect  of  solar 
activity,  which  by  its  beneficent  influences  vitalizes  and  enlivens  the  flora  and  fauna  of  the  earth. 
Osiris  is  not  the  sun,  but  the  sun  is  symbolic  of  the  vital  principle  of  Nature,  which  the  ancients  knew 
as  Osiris.  His  symbol,  therefore,  was  an  opened  eye,  in  honor  of  the  Great  Eye  of  the  universe,  the  sun, 
Opposed  to  the  active,  radiant  principle  of  impregnating  fire,  hear,  and  motion  was  the  passive, 
receptive  principle  of  Nature. 

Modern  science  has  proved  that  forms  ranging  in  magnitude  from  solar  systems  to  atoms  are 
composed  of  positive,  radiant  nuclei  surrounded  by  negative  bodies  that  exist  upon  the  emanations  of 
the  central  life.  From  this  allegory  we  have  the  story  of  Solomon  and  his  wives,  for  Solomon  is  the  sun 
and  his  wives  and  concubines  are  the  planets,  moons,  asteroids,  and  other  receptive  bodies  within  his 
house—the  solar  mansion.  Isis,  represented  in  the  Song  of  Solomon  by  the  dark  maid  of  Jerusalem,  is 
symbolic  of  receptive  Nature— the  watery,  maternal  principle  which  creates  all  things  out  of  herself 
after  impregnation  has  been  achieved  by  the  virility  of  the  sun. 

In  the  ancient  world  the  year  had  360  days.  The  five  extra  days  were  gathered  together  by  the  God  of 
Cosmic  Intelligence  to  serve  as  the  birthdays  of  the  five  gods  and  goddesses  who  are  called  the  sons 
and  daughters  of  Ham.  Upon  the  first  of  these  special  days  Osiris  was  born  and  upon  the  fourth  of 
them  Isis.  (The  number /our  shows  the  relation  that  this  goddess  bears  to  the  earth  and  its  elements.) 
Typhon,  the  Egyptian  Demon  or  Spirit  of  the  Adversary,  was  born  upon  the  third  day.  Typhon  is  often 
symbolized  by  a  crocodile;  sometimes  his  body  is  a  combination  of  crocodile  and  hog.  Isis  stands  for 
knowledge  and  wisdom,  and  according  to  Plutarch  the  word  Typhon  means  insolence  and  pride. 
Egotism,  self-centeredness,  and  pride  are  the  deadly  enemies  of  understanding  and  truth.  This  part  of 
the  allegory  is  revealed. 

After  Osiris,  here  symbolized  as  the  sun,  had  become  King  of  Egypt  and  had  given  to  his  people  the 
full  advantage  of  his  intellectual  light,  he  continued  his  path  through  the  heavens,  visiting  the  peoples 
of  other  nations  and  converting  all  with  whom  he  came  in  contact.  Plutarch  further  asserts  that  the 
Greeks  recognized  in  Osiris  the  same  person  whom  they  revered  under  the  names  of  Dionysos  and 
Bacchus.  While  he  was  away  from  his  country,  his  brother,  Typhon,  the  Evil  One,  like  the  Loki  of 
Scandinavia,  plotted  against  the  Sun  God  to  destroy  him.  Gathering  seventy-two  persons  as  fellow 
conspirators,  he  attained  his  nefarious  end  in  a  most  subtle  manner.  He  had  a  wonderful  ornamented 
box  made  just  the  size  of  the  body  of  Osiris.  This  he  brought  into  a  banquet  hall  where  the  gods  and 
goddesses  were  feasting  together.  All  admired  the  beautiful  chest,  and  Typhon  promised  to  give  it  to 
the  one  whose  body  fitted  it  most  perfectly.  One  after  another  lay  down  in  the  box,  but  in 


From  Mosaize  Historie  der  Hebreeuwse  Kerke. 

Diodorus  writes  of  a  famous  inscription  carved  on  a  column  at  Nysa,  in  Arabia,  wherein  Isis  described  herself  as  follows: 
"I  am  Isis,  Queen  of  this  country.  I  was  instructed  by  Mercury.  No  one  can  destroy  the  laws  which  I  have  established.  I  am 
the  eldest  daughter  of  Saturn,  most  ancient  of  the  gods.  I  am  the  wife  and  sister  of  Osiris  the  King.  I  first  made  known  to 
mortals  the  use  of  wheat.  I  am  the  mother  of  Orus  the  King.  In  my  honor  was  the  city  of  Bubaste  built.  Rejoice,  O  Egypt, 
rejoice,  land  that  gave  me  birth!"  (See  "Morals  and  Dogma,"  by  Albert  Pike.) 

p.  46 

rose  again,  until  at  last  Osiris  also  tried.  The  moment  he  was  in  the  chest  Typhon  and  his  accomplices 

nailed  the  cover  down  and  sealed  the  cracks  wdth  molten  lead.  They  then  cast  the  box  into  the  Nile, 
down  which  it  floated  to  the  sea.  Plutarch  states  that  the  date  upon  which  this  occurred  was  the 
seventeenth  day  of  the  month  Athyr,  when  the  sun  was  in  the  constellation  of  Scorpio.  This  is  most 

significant,  for  the  Scorpion  is  the  symbol  of  treachery.  The  time  when  Osiris  entered  the  chest  was 
also  the  same  season  that  Noah  entered  the  ark  to  escape  from  the  Deluge. 

Plutarch  further  declares  that  the  Pans  and  Satyrs  (the  Nature  spirits  and  elementals)  first  discovered 
that  Osiris  had  been  murdered.  These  immediately  raised  an  alarm,  and  from  this  incident  the  word 
panic,  meaningfright  or  amazement  of  the  multitudes,  originated.  Isis,  upon  receiving  the  news  of 
her  husband's  murder,  which  she  learned  from  some  children  who  had  seen  the  murderers  making  off 
with  the  box,  at  once  robed  herself  in  mourning  and  started  forth  in  quest  of  him. 

At  length  Isis  discovered  that  the  chest  had  floated  to  the  coast  of  Byblos.  There  it  had  lodged  in  the 
branches  of  a  tree,  which  in  a  short  time  miraculously  grew  up  around  the  box.  This  so  amazed  the 
king  of  that  country  that  he  ordered  the  tree  to  be  cut  down  and  a  pillar  made  from  its  trunk  to 
support  the  roof  of  his  palace.  Isis,  visiting  Byblos,  recovered  the  body  of  her  husband,  but  it  was 
again  stolen  by  Typhon,  who  cut  it  into  fourteen  parts,  which  he  scattered  all  over  the  earth.  Isis,  in 
despair,  began  gathering  up  the  severed  remains  of  her  husband,  but  found  only  thirteen  pieces.  The 
fourteenth  part  (the  phallus)  she  reproduced  in  gold,  for  the  original  had  fallen  into  the  river  Nile  and 
had  been  swallowed  by  a  fish. 

Typhon  was  later  slain  in  battle  by  the  son  of  Osiris.  Some  of  the  Egyptians  believed  that  the  souls  of 
the  gods  were  taken  to  heaven,  where  they  shone  forth  as  stars.  It  was  supposed  that  the  soul  of  Isis 
gleamed  from  the  Dog  Star,  while  Typhon  became  the  constellation  of  the  Bear.  It  is  doubtful, 
however,  whether  this  idea  was  ever  generally  accepted. 

Among  the  Egyptians,  Isis  is  often  represented  with  a  headdress  consisting  of  the  empty  throne  chair 
of  her  murdered  husband,  and  this  peculiar  structure  was  accepted  during  certain  dynasties  as  her 
hieroglyphic.  The  headdresses  of  the  Egyptians  have  great  symbolic  and  emblematic  importance,  for 
they  represent  the  auric  bodies  of  the  superhuman  intelligences,  and  are  used  in  the  same  way  that 
the  nimbus,  halo,  and  aureole  are  used  in  Christian  religious  art.  Frank  C.  Higgins,  a  well-known 
Masonic  symbolist,  has  astutely  noted  that  the  ornate  headgears  of  certain  gods  and  Pharaohs  are 
inclined  backward  at  the  same  angle  as  the  earth's  axis.  The  robes,  insignia,  jewels,  and 
ornamentations  of  the  ancient  hierophants  symbolized  the  spiritual  energies  radiating  from  the 
human  body.  Modern  science  is  rediscovering  many  of  the  lost  secrets  of  Hermetic  philosophy.  One  of 
these  is  the  ability  to  gauge  the  mental  development,  the  soul  qualities,  and  the  physical  health  of  an 
individual  from  the  streamers  of  semi-visible  electric  force  which  pour  through  the  surface  of  the  skin 
of  every  human  being  at  all  times  during  his  life.  (For  details  concerning  a  scientific  process  for 
making  the  auric  emanations  visible,  see  The  Human  Atmosphere  by  Dr.  Walter  J.  Kilner.) 

Isis  is  sometimes  symbolized  by  the  head  of  a  cow;  occasionally  the  entire  animal  is  her  symbol.  The 
first  gods  of  the  Scandinavians  were  licked  out  of  blocks  of  ice  by  the  Mother  Cow  (Audhumla),  who 
symbolized  the  principle  of  natural  nutriment  and  fecundity  because  of  her  milk.  Occasionally  Isis  is 
represented  as  a  bird.  She  often  carries  in  one  hand  the  crux  ansata,  the  symbol  of  eternal  life,  and  in 
the  other  the  flowered  scepter,  symbolic  of  her  authority. 

Thoth  Hermes  Trismegistus,  the  founder  of  Egyptian  learning,  the  Wise  Man  of  the  ancient  world, 
gave  to  the  priests  and  philosophers  of  antiquity  the  secrets  which  have  been  preserved  to  this  day  in 
myth  and  legend.  These  allegories  and  emblematic  figures  conceal  the  secret  formulae  for  spiritual, 
mental,  moral,  and  physical  regeneration  commonly  known  as  the  Mystic  Chemistry  of  the  Soul 
(alchemy).  These  sublime  truths  were  communicated  to  the  initiates  of  the  Mystery  Schools,  but  were 
concealed  from  the  profane.  The  latter,  unable  to  understand  the  abstract  philosophical  tenets, 
worshiped  the  concrete  sculptured  idols  which  were  emblematic  of  these  secret  truths.  The  wisdom 
and  secreq?^  of  Egypt  are  epitomized  in  the  Sphinx,  which  has  preserved  its  secret  from  the  seekers  of 
a  hundred  generations.  The  mysteries  of  Hermeticism,  the  great  spiritual  truths  hidden  from  the 
world  by  the  ignorance  of  the  world,  and  the  keys  of  the  secret  doctrines  of  the  ancient  philosophers. 

are  all  symbolized  by  the  Virgin  Isis.  Veiled  from  head  to  foot,  she  reveals  her  wisdom  only  to  the 
tried  and  initiated  few  who  have  earned  the  right  to  enter  her  sacred  presence,  tear  from  the  veiled 
figure  of  Nature  its  shroud  of  obscurity,  and  stand  face  to  face  with  the  Divine  Reality. 

The  explanations  in  these  pages  of  the  symbols  peculiar  to  the  Virgin  Isis  are  based  (unless  otherwise 
noted)  on  selections  from  a  free  translation  of  the  fourth  book  of  Biblioteque  des  Philosophes 
Hermetiques,  entitled  "The  Hermetical  Signification  of  the  Symbols  and  Attributes  of  Isis,"  with 
interpolations  by  the  compiler  to  amplify  and  clarify  the  text. 

The  statues  of  Isis  were  decorated  with  the  sun,  moon,  and  stars,  and  many  emblems  pertaining  to 
the  earth,  over  which  Isis  was  believed  to  rule  (as  the  guardian  spirit  of  Nature  personified).  Several 
images  of  the  goddess  have  been  found  upon  which  the  marks  of  her  dignity  and  position  were  still 
intact.  According  to  the  ancient  philosophers,  she  personified  Universal  Nature,  the  mother  of  all 
productions.  The  deity  was  generally  represented  as  a  partly  nude  woman,  often  pregnant,  sometimes 
loosely  covered  with  a  garment  either  of  green  or  black  color,  or  of  four  different  shades  intermingled- 
black,  white,  yellow,  and  red. 

Apuleius  describes  her  as  follows:  "In  the  first  place,  then,  her  most  copious  and  long  hairs,  being 
gradually  intorted,  and  promiscuously  scattered  on  her  divine  neck,  were  softly  defluous.  A  multiform 
crown,  consisting  of  various  flowers,  bound  the  sublime  summit  of  her  head.  And  in  the  middle  of  the 
crown,  just  on  her  forehead,  there  was  a  smooth  orb  resembling  a  mirror,  or  rather  a  white  refulgent 
light,  which  indicated  that  she  was  the  moon.  Vipers  rising  up  after  the  manner  of  furrows,  environed 
the  crown  on  the  right  hand  and  on  the  left,  and  Cerealian  ears  of  corn  were  also  extended  from  above. 
Her  garment  was  of  many  colours,  and  woven  from  the  finest  flax,  and  was  at  one  time  lucid  with  a 
white  splendour,  at  another  yellow  from  the  flower  of  crocus,  and  at  another  flaming  with  a  rosy 
redness.  But  that  which  most  excessively  dazzled  my  sight,  was  a  very  black  robe,  fulgid  with  a  dark 
splendour,  and  which,  spreading  round  and  passing  under  her  right  side,  and  ascending  to  her  left 
shoulder,  there  rose  protuberant  like  the  center  of  a  shield,  the  dependent  part  of  the  robe  falling  in 
many  folds,  and  having  small  knots  of  fringe,  gracefully  flowing  in  its  extremities.  Glittering  stars 
were  dispersed  through  the  embroidered  border  of  the  robe,  and  through  the  whole  of  its  surface:  and 
the  full  moon,  shining  in  the  middle  of  the  stars,  breathed  forth  flaming  fires.  Nevertheless,  a  crown, 
wholly  consisting  of  flowers  and  fruits  of  every  kind,  adhered  with  indivisible  connexion  to  the  border 
of  that  conspicuous  robe,  in  all  its  undulating  motions.  What  she  carried  in  her  hands  also  consisted 
of  things  of  a  very  different  nature.  For  her  right  hand,  indeed,  bore  a  brazen  rattle  [sistrum]  through 
the  narrow  lamina  of  which  bent  like  a  belt,  certain  rods  passing,  produced  a  sharp  triple  sound, 
through  the  vibrating  motion  of  her  arm.  An  oblong  vessel,  in  the  shape  of  a  boat,  depended  from  her 
left  hand,  on  the  handle  of  which,  in  that  part  in  which  it  was  conspicuous,  an  asp  raised  its  erect  head 
and  largely  swelling  neck.  And  shoes  woven  from  the  leaves  of  the  victorious  palm  tree  covered  her 
immortal  feet." 

The  green  color  alludes  to  the  vegetation  which  covers  the  face  of  the  earth,  and  therefore  represents 
the  robe  of  Nature.  The  black  represents  death  and  corruption  as  being  the  way  to  a  new  life  and 
generation.  "Except  a  man  be  born  again,  he  cannot  see  the  kingdom  of  God."  (John  iii.  3.)  White, 
yellow,  and  red  signify  the  three  principal  colors  of  the  alchemical,  Hermetical,  universal  medicine 
after  the  blackness  of  its  putrefaction  is  over. 

The  ancients  gave  the  name  Isis  to  one  of  their  occult  medicines;  therefore  the  description  here  given 
relates  somewhat  to  chemistry.  Her  black  drape  also  signifies  that  the  moon,  or  the  lunar  humidity— 
the  sophic  universal  mercury  and  the  operating  substance  of  Nature  in  alchemical  terminology—has 
no  light  of  its  own,  but  receives  its  light,  its  fire,  and  its  vitalizing  force  from  the  sun.  Isis  was 


"The  sistrum  is  designed  *  *  *  to  represent  to  us,  that  every  thing  must  be  kept  in  continual  agitation,  and  never  cease 
from  motion;  that  they  ought  to  be  mused  and  well-shaken,  whenever  they  begin  to  grow  drowsy  as  it  were,  and  to  droop 
in  their  motion.  For,  say  they,  the  sound  of  these  sistra  averts  and  drives  away  Typho;  meaning  hereby,  that  as  corruption 
clogs  and  puts  a  stop  to  the  regular  course  of  nature;  so  generation,  by  the  means  of  motion,  loosens  it  again,  and  restores 
it  to  its  former  vigour.  Now  the  outer  surface  of  this  instrument  is  of  a  convex  figure,  as  within  its  circumference  are 
contained  those  four  chords  or  bars  [only  three  shown],  which  make  such  a  rattling  when  they  are  shaken— nor  is  this 
without  its  meaning;  for  that  part  of  the  universe  which  is  subject  to  generation  and  corruption  is  contained  within  the 
sphere  of  the  moon;  and  whatever  motions  or  changes  may  happen  therein,  they  are  all  effected  by  the  different 
combinations  of  the  four  elementary  bodies,  fire,  earth,  water,  and  air —moreover,  upon  the  upper  part  of  the  convex 
surface  of  the  sistrum  is  carved  the  effigies  of  a  cat  with  a  human  visage,  as  on  the  lower  edge  of  it,  under  those  moving 
chords,  is  engraved  on  the  one  side  the  face  of  Isis,  and  on  the  other  that  of  Nephthys~by  the  faces  symbolically 
representing  generation  and  corruption  (which,  as  has  been  already  observed,  is  nothing  but  the  motion  and  alteration  of 
the  four  elements  one  amongst  another)," 

(From  Plutarch's  Isis  and  Osiris.) 


the  image  or  representative  of  the  Great  Works  of  the  wise  men:  the  Philosopher's  Stone,  the  Elixir  of 
Life,  and  the  Universal  Medicine. 

Other  hieroglyphics  seen  in  connection  with  Isis  are  no  less  curious  than  those  already  described,  but 
it  is  impossible  to  enumerate  all,  for  many  symbols  were  used  interchangeably  by  the  Egyptian 
Hermetists.  The  goddess  often  wore  upon  her  head  a  hat  made  of  cypress  branches,  to  signify 
mourning  for  her  dead  husband  and  also  for  the  physical  death  which  she  caused  every  creature  to 
undergo  in  order  to  receive  a  new  life  in  posterity  or  a  periodic  resurrection.  The  head  of  Isis  is 
sometimes  ornamented  with  a  crown  of  gold  or  a  garland  of  olive  leaves,  as  conspicuous  marks  of  her 
sovereignty  as  queen  of  the  world  and  mistress  of  the  entire  universe.  The  crown  of  gold  signifies  also 
the  aurific  unctuosity  or  sulphurous  fatness  of  the  solar  and  vital  fires  which  she  dispenses  to  every 
individual  by  a  continual  circulation  of  the  elements,  this  circulation  being  symbolized  by  the  musical 
rattle  which  she  carries  in  her  hand.  This  sistrum  is  also  the  yonic  symbol  of  purity. 

A  serpent  interwoven  among  the  olive  leaves  on  her  head,  devouring  its  own  tail,  denotes  that  the 
aurific  unctuosity  was  soiled  with  the  venom  of  terrestrial  corruption  which  surrounded  it  and  must 
be  mortified  and  purified  by  seven  planetary  circulations  or  purifications  called/Zi/mg^  eagles 
(alchemical  terminology)  in  order  to  make  it  medicinal  for  the  restoration  of  health.  (Here  the 
emanations  from  the  sun  are  recognized  as  a  medicine  for  the  healing  of  human  ills.)  The  seven 

planetary  circulations  are  represented  by  the  circumambulations  of  the  Masonic  lodge;  by  the 

marching  of  the  Jewish  priests  seven  times  around  the  walls  of  Jericho,  and  of  the  Mohammedan 
priests  seven  times  around  the  Kabba  at  Mecca.  From  the  crown  of  gold  project  three  horns  of  plenty, 
signifying  the  abundance  of  the  gifts  of  Nature  proceeding  from  one  root  having  its  origin  in  the 
heavens  (head  of  Isis). 

In  this  figure  the  pagan  naturalists  represent  all  the  vital  powers  of  the  three  kingdoms  and  families 
of  sublunary  nature-mineral,  plant,  and  animal  (man  considered  as  an  animal).  At  one  of  her  ears  was 
the  moon  and  at  the  other  the  sun,  to  indicate  that  these  two  were  the  agent  and  patient,  or  father  and 
mother  principles  of  all  natural  objects;  and  that  Isis,  or  Nature,  makes  use  of  these  two  luminaries  to 
communicate  her  powers  to  the  whole  empire  of  animals,  vegetables,  and  minerals.  On  the  back  of 
her  neck  were  the  characters  of  the  planets  and  the  signs  of  the  zodiac  which  assisted  the  planets  in 
their  functions.  This  signified  that  the  heavenly  influences  directed  the  destinies  of  the  principles  and 
sperms  of  all  things,  because  they  were  the  governors  of  all  sublunary  bodies,  which  they  transformed 
into  little  worlds  made  in  the  image  of  the  greater  universe. 

Isis  holds  in  her  right  hand  a  small  sailing  ship  with  the  spindle  of  a  spinning  wheel  for  its  mast.  From 
the  top  of  the  mast  projects  a  water  jug,  its  handle  shaped  like  a  serpent  swelled  with  venom.  This 
indicates  that  Isis  steers  the  bark  of  life,  full  of  troubles  and  miseries,  on  the  stormy  ocean  of  Time. 
The  spindle  symbolizes  the  fact  that  she  spins  and  cuts  the  thread  of  Life.  These  emblems  further 
signify  that  Isis  abounds  in  humidity,  by  means  of  which  she  nourishes  all  natural  bodies,  preserving 
them  from  the  heat  of  the  sun  by  humidifying  them  with  nutritious  moisture  from  the  atmosphere. 
Moisture  supports  vegetation,  but  this  subtle  humidity  (life  ether)  is  always  more  or  less  infected  by 
some  venom  proceeding  from  corruption  or  decay.  It  must  be  purified  by  being  brought  into  contact 
with  the  invisible  cleansing  fire  of  Nature.  This  fire  digests,  perfects,  and  revitalizes  this  substance,  in 
order  that  the  humidity  may  become  a  universal  medicine  to  heal  and  renew  all  the  bodies  in  Nature. 

The  serpent  throws  off  its  skin  annually  and  is  thereby  renewed  (symbolic  of  the  resurrection  of  the 
spiritual  life  from  the  material  nature).  This  renewal  of  the  earth  takes  place  every  spring,  when  the 
vivifying  spirit  of  the  sun  returns  to  the  countries  of  the  Northern  Hemisphere, 

The  symbolic  Virgin  carries  in  her  left  hand  a  sistrum  and  a  cymbal,  or  square  frame  of  metal,  which 
when  struck  gives  the  key-note  of  Nature  (Fa);  sometimes  also  an  olive  branch,  to  indicate  the 
harmony  she  preserves  among  natural  things  with  her  regenerating  power.  By  the  processes  of  death 
and  corruption  she  gives  life  to  a  number  of  creatures  of  diverse  forms  through  periods  of  perpetual 
change.  The  cymbal  is  made  square  instead  of  the  usual  triangular  shape  in  order  to  symbolize  that  all 
things  are  transmuted  and  regenerated  according  to  the  harmony  of  the  four  elements. 

Dr.  Sigismund  Bacstrom  believed  that  if  a  physician  could  establish  harmony  among  the  elements  of 
earth,  fire,  air,  and  water,  and  unite  them  into  a  stone  (the  Philosopher's  Stone)  symbolized  by  the 
six-pointed  star  or  two  interlaced  triangles,  he  would  possess  the  means  of  healing  all  disease.  Dr. 
Bacstrom  further  stated  that  there  was  no  doubt  in  his  mind  that  the  universal,  omnipresent  fire 
(spirit)  of  Nature:  "does  all  and  is  all  in  all."  By  attraction,  repulsion,  motion,  heat,  sublimation, 
evaporation,  exsiccation,  inspissation,  coagulation,  and  fixation,  the  Universal  Fire  (Spirit) 
manipulates  matter,  and  manifests  throughout  creation.  Any  individual  who  can  understand  these 
principles  and  adapt  them  to  the  three  departments  of  Nature  becomes  a  true  philosopher. 

From  the  right  breast  of  Isis  protruded  a  bunch  of  grapes  and  from,  the  left  an  ear  of  corn  or  a  sheaf 
of  wheat,  golden  in  color.  These  indicate  that  Nature  is  the  source  of  nutrition  for  plant,  animal,  and 
human  life,  nourishing  all  things  from  herself.  The  golden  color  in  the  wheat  (corn)  indicates  that  in 
the  sunlight  or  spiritual  gold  is  concealed  the  first  sperm  of  all  life. 

On  the  girdle  surrounding  the  upper  part  of  the  body  of  the  statue  appear  a  number  of  mysterious 
emblems.  The  girdle  is  joined  together  in  front  by  four  golden  plates  (the  elements),  placed  in  the 
form  of  a  square.  This  signified  that  Isis,  or  Nature,  the  first  matter  (alchemical  terminology),  was  the 
essence-  of  the  four  elements  (life,  light,  heat,  and  force),  which  quintessence  generated  all  things. 
Numerous  stars  are  represented  on  this  girdle,  thereby  indicating  their  influence  in  darkness  as  well 
as  the  influence  of  the  sun  in  light.  Isis  is  the  Virgin  immortalized  in  the  constellation  of  Virgo,  where 
the  World  Mother  is  placed  with  the  serpent  under  her  feet  and  a  crown,  of  stars  on  her  head.  In  her 
arms  she  carries  a  sheaf  of  grain  and  sometimes  the  young  Sun  God. 

The  statue  of  Isis  was  placed  on  a  pedestal  of  dark  stone  ornamented  with  rams'  heads.  Her  feet  trod 
upon  a  number  of  venomous  reptiles.  This  indicates  that  Nature  has  power  to  free  from  acidity  or 
saltness  all  corrosives  and  to  overcome  all  impurities  from  terrestrial  corruption  adhering  to  bodies. 
The  rams'  heads  indicate  that  the  most  auspicious  time  for  the  generation  of  life  is  during  the  period 
when  the  sun  passes  through  the  sign  of  Aries.  The  serpents  under  her  feet  indicate  that  Nature  is 
inclined  to  preserve  life  and  to  heal  disease  by  expelling  impurities  and  corruption. 

In  this  sense  the  axioms  known  to  the  ancient  philosophers  are  verified;  namely: 

Nature  contains  Nature, 

Nature  rejoices  in  her  own  nature, 

Nature  surmounts  Nature; 

Nature  cannot  be  amended  but  in  her  own  nature. 

Therefore,  in  contemplating  the  statue  of  Isis,  we  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  occult  sense  of  its 
allegories;  otherwise,  the  Virgin  remains  an  inexplicable  enigma. 

From  a  golden  ring  on  her  left  arm  a  line  descends,  to  the  end  of  which  is  suspended  a  deep  box  filled 
with  flaming  coals  and  incense.  Isis,  or  Nature  personified,  carries  with  her  the  sacred  fire,  religiously 
preserved  and  kept  burning  in.  a  special  temple  by  the  vestal  virgins.  This  fire  is  the  genuine, 
immortal  flame  of  Nature—ethereal,  essential,  the  author  of  life.  The  inconsumable  oil;  the  balsam  of 
life,  so  much  praised  by  the  wise  and  so  often  referred  to  in  the  Scriptures,  is  frequently  symbolized  as 
the  fuel  of  this  immortal  flame. 

From  the  right  arm  of  the  figure  also  descends  a  thread,  to  the  end  of  which  is  fastened  a  pair  of  scales, 
to  denote  the  exactitude  of  Nature  in  her  weights  and  measures.  Isis  is  often  represented  as  the 
symbol  of  justice,  because  Nature  is  eternally  consistent. 


From  Lenoir's  La  Franche-Maconnerie. 

Aroueris,  or  Thoth,  one  of  the  five  immortals,  protected  the  infant  Horus  from  the  wrath  of  Typhon  after  the  murder  of 
Osiris.  He  also  revised  the  ancient  Egyptian  calendar  by  increasing  the  year  from  360  days  to  365.  Thoth  Hermes  was 
called  "The  Dog-Headed"  because  of  his  faithfulness  and  integrity.  He  is  shown  crowned  with  a  solar  nimbus,  carrying  in 
one  hand  the  Crux  Ansata,  the  symbol  of  eternal  life,  and  in  the  other  a  serpent- wound  staff  symbolic  of  his  dignity  as 
counselor  of  the  gods. 

Isis  is  shown  with  her  son  Horus  in  her  arms.  She  is  crowned  with  the  lunar  orb,  ornamented  with  the  horns  of  rams  or 
bulls.  Orus,  or  Horus  as  he  is  more  generally  known,  was  the  son  of  Isis  and  Osiris.  He  was  the  god  of  time,  hours,  days, 
and  this  narrow  span  of  life  recognized  as  mortal  existence.  In  all  probability,  the  four  sons  of  Horus  represent  the  four 
kingdoms  of  Nature.  It  was  Horus  who  finally  avenged  the  murder  of  his  father,  Osiris,  by  slaying  Typhon,  the  spirit  of 


From  Lenoir's  La  Franche-Maconnerie. 

p.  48 

The  World  Virgin  is  sometimes  shown  standing  between  two  great  pillars—the  Jachin  and  Boaz  of 

Freemasonry~symbolizing  the  fact  that  Nature  attains  productivity  by  means  of  polarity.  As  wisdom 
personified,  Isis  stands  between  the  pillars  of  opposites,  demonstrating  that  understanding  is  always 
found  at  the  point  of  equilibrium  and  that  truth  is  often  crucified  between  the  two  thieves  of  apparent 

The  sheen  of  gold  in  her  dark  hair  indicates  that  while  she  is  lunar,  her  power  is  due  to  the  sun's  rays, 
from  which  she  secures  her  ruddy  complexion.  As  the  moon  is  robed  in  the  reflected  light  of  the  sun, 
so  Isis,  like  the  virgin  of  Revelation,  is  clothed  in  the  glory  of  solar  luminosity.  Apuleius  states  that 
while  he  was  sleeping  he  beheld  the  venerable  goddess  Isis  rising  out  of  the  ocean.  The  ancients 
realized  that  the  primary  forms  of  life  first  came  out  of  water,  and  modem  science  concurs  in  this  view. 
H.  G.  Wells,  in  his  Outline  of  History,  describing  primitive  life  on  the  earth,  states:  "But  though  the 
ocean  and  intertidal  water  already  swarmed  with  life,  the  land  above  the  high-tide  line  was  still,  so  far 
as  we  can  guess,  a  stony  wilderness  without  a  trace  of  life."  In  the  next  chapter  he  adds:  "Wherever 
the  shore-line  ran  there  was  life,  and  that  life  went  on  in  and  by  and  with  water  as  its  home,  its 
medium,  and  its  fundamental  necessity."  The  ancients  believed  that  the  universal  sperm  proceeded 
from  warm  vapor,  humid  but  fiery.  The  veiled  Isis,  whose  very  coverings  represent  vapor,  is  symbolic 
of  this  humidity,  which  is  the  carrier  or  vehicle  for  the  sperm  life  of  the  sun,  represented  by  a  child  in 
her  arms.  Because  the  sun,  moon,  and  stars  in  setting  appear  to  sink  into  the  sea  and  also  because  the 
water  receives  their  rays  into  itself,  the  sea  was  believed  to  be  the  breeding  ground  for  the  sperm  of 
living  things.  This  sperm  is  generated  from  the  combination  of  the  influences  of  the  celestial  bodies; 
hence  Isis  is  sometimes  represented  as  pregnant. 

Frequently  the  statue  of  Isis  was  accompanied  by  the  figure  of  a  large  black  and  white  ox.  The  ox 
represents  either  Osiris  as  Taurus,  the  bull  of  the  zodiac,  or  Apis,  an  animal  sacred  to  Osiris  because 
of  its  peculiar  markings  and  colorings.  Among  the  Egyptians,  the  bull  was  a  beast  of  burden.  Hence 
the  presence  of  the  animal  was  a  reminder  of  the  labors  patiently  performed  by  Nature  that  all 
creatures  may  have  life  and  health.  Harpocrates,  the  God  of  Silence,  holding  his  lingers  to  his  mouth, 
often  accompanies  the  statue  of  Isis.  He  warns  all  to  keep  the  secrets  of  the  wise  from  those  unfit  to 
know  them. 

The  Druids  of  Britain  and  Gaul  had  a  deep  knowledge  concerning  the  mysteries  of  Isis  and  worshiped 
her  under  the  symbol  of  the  moon.  Godfrey  Higgins  considers  it  a  mistake  to  regard  Isis  as 
synonymous  with  the  moon.  The  moon  was  chosen  for  Isis  because  of  its  dominion  over  water.  The 
Druids  considered  the  sun  to  be  the  father  and  the  moon  the  mother  of  all  things.  By  means  of  these 
symbols  they  worshiped  Universal  Nature. 

The  figure  of  Isis  is  sometimes  used  to  represent  the  occult  and  magical  arts,  such  as  necromancy, 
invocation,  sorcery,  and  thaumaturgy.  In  one  of  the  myths  concerning  her,  Isis  is  said  to  have 
conjured  the  invincible  God  of  Eternities,  Ra,  to  tell  her  his  secret  and  sacred  name,  which  he  did. 
This  name  is  equivalent  to  the  Lost  Word  of  Masonry.  By  means  of  this  Word,  a  magician  can  demand 
obedience  from  the  invisible  and  superior  deities.  The  priests  of  Isis  became  adepts  in  the  use  of  the 
unseen  forces  of  Nature.  They  understood  hypnotism,  mesmerism,  and  similar  practices  long  before 
the  modem  world  dreamed  of  their  existence. 

Plutarch  describes  the  requisites  of  a  follower  of  Isis  in  this  manner:  "For  as  'tis  not  the  length  of  the 
beard,  or  the  coarseness  of  the  habit  which  makes  a  philosopher,  so  neither  will  those  frequent 
shavings,  or  the  mere  wearing  [of]  a  linen  vestment  constitute  a  votary  of  Isis;  but  he  alone  is  a  true 
servant  or  follower  of  this  Goddess,  who  after  he  has  heard,  and  been  made  acquainted  in  a  proper 
manner  with  the  history  of  the  actions  of  these  Gods,  searches  into  the  hidden  truths  which  he 
concealed  under  them,  and  examines  the  whole  by  the  dictates  of  reason  and  philosophy." 

During  the  Middle  Ages  the  troubadours  of  Central  Europe  preserved  in  song  the  legends  of  this 

Egyptian  goddess.  They  composed  sonnets  to  the  most  beautiful  woman  in  all  the  world.  Though  few 
ever  discovered  her  identity,  she  was  Sophia,  the  Virgin  of  Wisdom,  whom  all  the  philosophers  of  the 
world  have  wooed.  Isis  represents  the  mystery  of  motherhood,  which  the  ancients  recognized  as  the 
most  apparent  proof  of  Nature's  omniscient  wisdom  and  God's  overshadowing  power.  To  the  modem 
seeker  she  is  the  epitome  of  the  Great  Unknown,  and  only  those  who  unveil  her  will  be  able  to  solve 
the  mysteries  of  life,  death,  generation,  and  regeneration. 


Servius,  commenting  on  Virgil's  ^nezd,  observes  that  "the  wise  Egyptians  took  care  to  embalm  their 
bodies,  and  deposit  them  in  catacombs,  in  order  that  the  soul  might  be  preserved  for  a  long  time  in 
connection  with  the  body,  and  might  not  soon  be  alienated;  while  the  Romans,  with  an  opposite 
design,  committed  the  remains  of  their  dead  to  the  funeral  pile,  intending  that  the  vital  spark  might 
immediately  be  restored  to  the  general  element,  or  return  to  its  pristine  nature."  (From  Prichard's  An 
Analysis  of  the  Egyptian  Mythology.) 

No  complete  records  are  available  which  give  the  secret  doctrine  of  the  Egyptians  concerning  the 
relationship  existing  between  the  spirit,  or  consciousness,  and  the  body  which  it  inhabited.  It  is 
reasonably  certain,  however,  that  Pythagoras,  who  had  been  initiated  in  the  Egyptian  temples,  when 
he  promulgated  the  doctrine  of  metempsychosis,  restated,  in  part  at  least,  the  teachings  of  the 
Egyptian  initiates.  The  popular  supposition  that  the  Egyptians  mummified  their  dead  in  order  to 
preserve  the  form  for  a  physical  resurrection  is  untenable  in  the  light  of  modern  knowledge  regarding 
their  philosophy  of  death.  In  the  fourth  book  of  On  Abstinence  from  Animal  Food,  Porphyry 
describes  an  Egyptian  custom  of  purifying  the  dead  by  removing  the  contents  of  the  abdominal  cavity, 
which  they  placed  in  a  separate  chest.  He  then  reproduces  the  following  oration  which  had  been 
translated  out  of  the  Egyptian  tongue  by  Euphantus:  "O  sovereign  Sun,  and  all  ye  Gods  who  impart 
life  to  men,  receive  me,  and  deliver  me  to  the  eternal  Gods  as  a  cohabitant.  For  I  have  always  piously 
worshipped  those  divinities  which  were  pointed  out  to  me  by  my  parents  as  long  as  I  lived  in  this  age, 
and  have  likewise  always  honored  those  who  procreated  my  body.  And,  with  respect  to  other  men,  I 
have  never  slain  any  one,  nor  defrauded  any  one  of  what  he  deposited  with  me,  nor  have  I  committed 
any  other  atrocious  deed.  If,  therefore,  during  my  life  I  have  acted  erroneously,  by  eating  or  drinking 
things  which  it  is  unlawful  to  cat  or  drink,  I  have  not  erred  through  myself,  but  through  these" 
(pointing  to  the  chest  which  contained  the  viscera).  The  removal  of  the  organs  identified  as  the  seat  of 
the  appetites  was  considered  equivalent  to  the  purification  of  the  body  from  their  evil  influences. 

So  literally  did  the  early  Christians  interpret  their  Scriptures  that  they  preserved  the  bodies  of  their 
dead  by  pickling  them  in  salt  water,  so  that  on  the  day  of  resurrection  the  spirit  of  the  dead  might 
reenter  a  complete  and  perfectly  preserved  body.  Believing  that  the  incisions  necessary  to  the 
embalming  process  and  the  removal  of  the  internal  organs  would  prevent  the  return  of  the  spirit  to  its 
body,  the  Christians  buried  their  dead  without  resorting  to  the  more  elaborate  mummification 
methods  employed  by  the  Egyptian  morticians. 

In  his  work  on  Egyptian  Magic,  S.S.D.D.  hazards  the  following  speculation  concerning  the  esoteric 
purposes  behind  the  practice  of  mummification.  "There  is  every  reason  to  suppose,"  he  says,  "that 
only  those  who  had  received  some  grade  of  initiation  were  mummified;  for  it  is  certain  that,  in  the 
eyes  of  the  Egyptians,  mummification  effectually  prevented  reincarnation.  Reincarnation  was 
necessary  to  imperfect  souls,  to  those  who  had  failed  to  pass  the  tests  of  initiation;  but  for  those  who 
had  the  Will  and  the  capacity  to  enter  the  Secret  Adytum,  there  was  seldom  necessity  for  that 
liberation  of  the  soul  which  is  said  to  be  effected  by  the  destruction  of  the  body.  The  body  of  the 
Initiate  was  therefore  preserved  after  death  as  a  species  of  Talisman  or  material  basis  for  the 
manifestation  of  the  Soul  upon  earth." 

During  the  period  of  its  inception  mummification  was  limited  to  the  Pharaoh  and  such  other  persons 
of  royal  rank  as  presumably  partook  of  the  attributes  of  the  great  Osiris,  the  divine,  mummified  King 
of  the  Egyptian  Underworld. 


Osiris  is  often  represented  with  the  lower  par,  of  his  body  enclosed  in  a  mummy  case  or  wrapped  about  with  funeral 
bandages.  Man's  spirit  consists  of  three  distinct  parts,  only  one  of  which  incarnates  in  physical  form.  The  human  body  was 
considered  to  be  a  tomb  or  sepulcher  of  this  incarnating  spirit.  Therefore  Osiris,  a  symbol  of  the  incarnating  ego,  was 
represented  with  the  lower  half  of  his  body  mummified  to  indicate  that  he  was  the  living  spirit  of  man  enclosed  within  the 
material  form  symbolized  by  the  mummy  case. 

There  is  a  romance  between  the  active  principle  of  God  and  the  passive  principle  of  Nature.  From  the  union  of  these  two 
principles  is  produced  the  rational  creation.  Man  is  a  composite  creature.  From  his  Father  (the  active  principle)  he 
inherits  his  Divine  Spirit,  the  fire  of  aspiration—that  immortal  part  of  himself  which  rises  triumphant  from  the  broken  clay 
of  mortality:  that  part  which  remains  after  the  natural  organisms  have  disintegrated  or  have  been  regenerated.  From  his 
Mother  (the  passive  principle)  he  inherits  his  body—that  part  over  which  the  laws  of  Nature  have  control:  his  humanity, 
his  mortal  personality,  his  appetites,  his  feelings,  and  his  emotions.  The  Egyptians  also  believed  that  Osiris  was  the  river 
Nile  and  that  Isis  (his  sister-wife)  was  the  contiguous  land,  which,  when  inundated  by  the  river,  bore  fruit  and  harvest. 
The  murky  water  of  the  Nile  were  believed  to  account  for  the  blackness  of  Osiris,  who  was  generally  symbolized  as  being  of 
ebony  hue. 


The  Sun,  A  Universal  Deity 

THE  adoration  of  the  sun  was  one  of  the  earhest  and  most  natural  forms  of  rehgious  expression. 
Complex  modern  theologies  are  merely  involvements  and  amplifications  of  this  simple  aboriginal 
belief.  The  primitive  mind,  recognizing  the  beneficent  power  of  the  solar  orb,  adored  it  as  the  proxy  of 
the  Supreme  Deity.  Concerning  the  origin  of  sun  worship,  Albert  Pike  makes  the  following  concise 
statement  in  his  Morals  and  Dogma:  "To  them  [aboriginal  peoples]  he  [the  sun]  was  the  innate  fire  of 
bodies,  the  fire  of  Nature.  Author  of  Life,  heat,  and  ignition,  he  was  to  them  the  efficient  cause  of  all 
generation,  for  without  him  there  was  no  movement,  no  existence,  no  form.  He  was  to  them  immense, 
indivisible,  imperishable,  and  everywhere  present.  It  was  their  need  of  light,  and  of  his  creative 
energy,  that  was  felt  by  all  men;  and  nothing  was  more  fearful  to  them  than  his  absence.  His 
beneficent  influences  caused  his  identification  with  the  Principle  of  Good;  and  the  BRAHMA  of  the 
Hindus,  and  MITHRAS  of  the  Persians,  and  ATHOM,  AMUN,  PHTHA,  and  OSIRIS,  of  the  Egyptians, 
the  BEL  of  the  Chaldeans,  the  ADONAI  of  the  Phoenicians,  the  ADONIS  and  APOLLO  of  the  Greeks, 
became  but  personifications  of  the  Sun,  the  regenerating  Principle,  image  of  that  fecundity  which 
perpetuates  and  rejuvenates  the  world's  existence." 

Among  all  the  nations  of  antiquity,  altars,  mounds,  and  temples  were  dedicated  to  the  worship  of  the 
orb  of  day.  The  ruins  of  these  sacred  places  yet  remain,  notable  among  them  being  the  pyramids  of 
Yucatan  and  Egypt,  the  snake  mounds  of  the  American  Indians,  the  Zikkurats  of  Babylon  and  Chaldea, 
the  round  towers  of  Ireland,  and  the  massive  rings  of  uncut  stone  in  Britain  and  Normandy.  The 
Tower  of  Babel,  which,  according  to  the  Scriptures,  was  built  so  that  man  might  reach  up  to  God,  was 
probably  an  astronomical  observatory. 

Many  early  priests  and  prophets,  both  pagan  and  Christian,  were  versed  in  astronomy  and  astrology; 
their  writings  are  best  understood  when  read  in  the  light  of  these  ancient  sciences.  With  the  growth  of 
man's  knowledge  of  the  constitution  and  periodicity  of  the  heavenly  bodies,  astronomical  principles 
and  terminology  were  introduced  into  his  religious  systems.  The  tutelary  gods  were  given  planetary 
thrones,  the  celestial  bodies  being  named  after  the  deities  assigned  to  them.  The  fixed  stars  were 
divided  into  constellations,  and  through  these  constellations  wandered  the  sun  and  its  planets,  the 
latter  with  their  accompanying  satellites. 


The  sun,  as  supreme  among  the  celestial  bodies  visible  to  the  astronomers  of  antiquity,  was  assigned 
to  the  highest  of  the  gods  and  became  symbolic  of  the  supreme  authority  of  the  Creator  Himself. 
From  a  deep  philosophic  consideration  of  the  powers  and  principles  of  the  sun  has  come  the  concept 
of  the  Trinity  as  it  is  understood  in  the  world  today.  The  tenet  of  a  Triune  Divinity  is  not  peculiar  to 
Christian  or  Mosaic  theology,  but  forms  a  conspicuous  part  of  the  dogma  of  the  greatest  religions  of 
both  ancient  and  modern  times.  The  Persians,  Hindus,  Babylonians,  and  Egyptians  had  their  Trinities. 
In  every  instance  these  represented  the  threefold  form  of  one  Supreme  Intelligence.  In  modern 
Masonry,  the  Deity  is  symbolized  by  an  equilateral  triangle,  its  three  sides  representing  the  primary 
manifestations  of  the  Eternal  One  who  is  Himself  represented  as  a  tiny  flame,  called  by  the  Hebrews 
Yod  (').  Jakob  Bohme,  the  Teutonic  mystic,  calls  the  Trinity  The  Three  Witnesses,  by  means  of  which 
the  Invisible  is  made  known  to  the  visible,  tangible  universe. 

The  origin  of  the  Trinity  is  obvious  to  anyone  who  will  observe  the  daily  manifestations  of  the  sun. 
This  orb,  being  the  symbol  of  all  Light,  has  three  distinct  phases:  rising,  midday,  and  setting.  The 
philosophers  therefore  divided  the  life  of  all  things  into  three  distinct  parts:  growth,  maturity,  and 
decay.  Between  the  twilight  of  dawn  and  the  twilight  of  evening  is  the  high  noon  of  resplendent  glory. 

God  the  Father,  the  Creator  of  the  world,  is  symboHzed  by  the  dawn.  His  color  is  blue,  because  the  sun 
rising  in  the  morning  is  veiled  in  blue  mist.  God  the  Son  he  Illuminating  One  sent  to  bear  witness  of 
His  Father  before  all  the  worlds,  is  the  celestial  globe  at  noonday,  radiant  and  magnificent,  the  maned 
Lion  of  Judah,  the  Golden-haired  Savior  of  the  World.  Yellow  is  His  color  and  His  power  is  without 
end.  God  the  Holy  Ghost  is  the  sunset  phase,  when  the  orb  of  day,  robed  in  flaming  red,  rests  for  a 
moment  upon  the  horizon  line  and  then  vanishes  into  the  darkness  of  the  night  to  wandering  the 
lower  worlds  and  later  rise  again  triumphant  from  the  embrace  of  darkness. 

To  the  Egyptians  the  sun  was  the  symbol  of  immortality,  for,  while  it  died  each  night,  it  rose  again 
with  each  ensuing  dawn.  Not  only  has  the  sun  this  diurnal  activity,  but  it  also  has  its  annual 
pilgrimage,  during  which  time  it  passes  successively  through  the  twelve  celestial  houses  of  the 
heavens,  remaining  in  each  for  thirty  days.  Added  to  these  it  has  a  third  path  of  travel,  which  is  called 
the  precession  of  the  equinoxes,  in  which  it  retrogrades  around  the  zodiac  through  the  twelve  signs  at 
the  rate  of  one  degree  every  seventy-two  years. 

Concerning  the  annual  passage  of  the  sun  through  the  twelve  houses  of  the  heavens,  Robert  Hewitt 
Brown,  32°,  makes  the  following  statement:  "The  Sun,  as  he  pursued  his  way  among  these  'living 
creatures'  of  the  zodiac,  was  said,  in  allegorical  language,  either  to  assume  the  nature  of  or  to  triumph 
over  the  sign  he  entered.  The  sun  thus  became  a  Bull  in  Taurus,  and  was  worshipped  as  such  by  the 
Egyptians  under  the  name  of  Apis,  and  by  the  Assyrians  as  Bel,  Baal,  or  Bui.  In  Leo  the  sun  became  a 
Lion-slayer,  Hercules,  and  an  Archer  in  Sagittarius.  In  Pisces,  the  Fishes,  he  was  a  fish—Dagon,  or 
Vishnu,  the  fish-god  of  the  Philistines  and  Hindoos." 

A  careful  analysis  of  the  religious  systems  of  pagandom  uncovers  much  evidence  of  the  fact  that  its 
priests  served  the  solar  energy  and  that  their  Supreme  Deity  was  in  every  case  this  Divine  Light 
personified.  Godfrey  Higgins,  after  thirty  years  of  inquiry  into  the  origin  of  religious  beliefs,  is  of  the 
opinion  that  "All  the  Gods  of  antiquity  resolved  themselves  into  the  solar  fire,  sometimes  itself  as  God, 
or  sometimes  an  emblem  or  shekinah  of  that  higher  principle,  known  by  the  name  of  the  creative 
Being  or  God." 

The  Egyptian  priests  in  many  of  their  ceremonies  wore  the  skins  of  lions,  which  were  symbols  of  the 
solar  orb,  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  sun  is  exalted,  dignified,  and  most  fortunately  placed  in  the 
constellation  of  Leo,  which  he  rules  and  which  was  at  one  time  the  keystone  of  the  celestial  arch. 
Again,  Hercules  is  the  Solar  Deity,  for  as  this  mighty  hunter  performed  his  twelve  labors,  so  the  sun, 
in  traversing  the  twelve  houses  of  the  zodiacal  band,  performs  during  his  pilgrimage  twelve  essential 
and  benevolent  labors  for  the  human  race  and  for  Nature  in  general,  Hercules,  like  the  Egyptian 
priests,  wore  the  skin  of  a  lion  for  a  girdle.  Samson,  the  Hebrew  hero,  as  his 


From  Maurice 's  Indian  Antiquities. 

The  sun  rising  over  the  back  of  the  hon  or,  astrologically,  in  the  back  of  the  hon,  has  always  been  considered  symbohc  of 
power  and  rulership.  A  symbol  very  similar  to  the  one  above  appears  on  the  flag  of  Persia,  whose  people  have  always  been 
sun  worshipers.  Kings  and  emperors  have  frequently  associated  their  terrestrial  power  with  the  celestial  Power  of  the  solar 
orb,  and  have  accepted  the  sun,  or  one  of  its  symbolic  beasts  or  birds,  as  their  emblem.  Witness  the  lion  of  the  Great 
Mogul  and  the  eagles  of  Caesar  and  Napoleon. 


From  Maurice 's  Indian  Antiquities. 

This  symbol,  which  appears  over  the  Pylons  or  gates  of  many  Egyptian  palaces  and  temples,  is  emblematic  of  the  three 
persons  of  the  Egyptian  Trinity.  The  wings,  the  serpents,  and  the  solar  orb  are  the  insignia  of  Ammon,  Ra,  and  Osiris. 

p-  50 

name  implies,  is  also  a  solar  deity.  His  fight  with  the  Nubian  lion,  his  battles  with  the  Philistines,  who 
represent  the  Powers  of  Darkness,  and  his  memorable  feat  of  carrying  off  the  gates  of  Gaza,  all  refer 
to  aspects  of  solar  activity.  Many  of  the  ancient  peoples  had  more  than  one  solar  deity;  in  fact,  all  of 
the  gods  and  goddesses  were  supposed  to  partake,  in  part  at  least,  of  the  sun's  effulgence. 

The  golden  ornaments  used  by  the  priestcraft  of  the  various  world  religions  are  again  a  subtle 
reference  to  the  solar  energy,  as  are  also  the  crowns  of  kings.  In  ancient  times,  crowns  had  a  number 
of  points  extending  outward  like  the  rays  of  the  sun,  but  modern  conventionalism  has,  in  many  cases, 
either  removed  the  points  or  else  bent:  them  inward,  gathered  them  together,  and  placed  an  orb  or 
cross  upon  the  point  where  they  meet.  Many  of  the  ancient  prophets,  philosophers,  and  dignitaries 
carried  a  scepter,  the  upper  end  of  which  bore  a  representation  of  the  solar  globe  surrounded  by 
emanating  rays.  All  the  kingdoms  of  earth  were  but  copies  of  the  kingdoms  of  Heaven,  and  the 
kingdoms  of  Heaven  were  best  symbolized  by  the  solar  kingdom,  in  which  the  sun  was  the  supreme 
ruler,  the  planets  his  privy  council,  and  all  Nature  the  subjects  of  his  empire. 

Many  deities  have  been  associated  with  the  sun.  The  Greeks  believed  that  Apollo,  Bacchus,  Dionysos, 
Sabazius,  Hercules,  Jason,  Ulysses,  Zeus,  Uranus,  and  Vulcan  partook  of  either  the  visible  or  invisible 
attributes  of  the  sun.  The  Norwegians  regarded  Balder  the  Beautiful  as  a  solar  deity,  and  Odin  is  often 
connected  with  the  celestial  orb,  especially  because  of  his  one  eye.  Among  the  Egyptians,  Osiris,  Ra, 
Anubis,  Hermes,  and  even  the  mysterious  Ammon  himself  had  points  of  resemblance  with  the  solar 
disc.  Isis  was  the  mother  of  the  sun,  and  even  Typhon,  the  Destroyer,  was  supposed  to  be  a  form  of 
solar  energy.  The  Egyptian  sun  myth  finally  centered  around  the  person  of  a  mysterious  deity  called 
Serapis.  The  two  Central  American  deities,  Tezcatlipoca  and  Quetzalcoatl,  while  often  associated 
with  the  winds,  were  also  undoubtedly  solar  gods. 

In  Masonry  the  sun  has  many  symbols.  One  expression  of  the  solar  energy  is  Solomon,  whose  name 
SOL-OM-ON  is  the  name  for  the  Supreme  Light  in  three  different  languages.  Hiram  Abiff,  the 
CHiram  (Hiram)  of  the  Chaldees,  is  also  a  solar  deity,  and  the  story  of  his  attack  and  murder  by  the 
Ruffians,  with  its  solar  interpretation,  will  be  found  in  the  chapter  The  Hiramic  Legend.  A  striking 
example  of  the  important  part  which  the  sun  plays  in  the  symbols  and  rituals  of  Freemasonry  is  given 
by  George  Oliver,  D.D.,  in  his  Dictionary  of  Symbolical  Masonry,  as  follows: 

"The  sun  rises  in  the  east,  and  in  the  east  is  the  place  for  the  Worshipful  Master.  As  the  sun  is  the 
source  of  all  light  and  warmth,  so  should  the  Worshipful  Master  enliven  and  warm  the  brethren  to 
their  work.  Among  the  ancient  Egyptians  the  sun  was  the  symbol  of  divine  providence."  The 
hierophants  of  the  Mysteries  were  adorned  with  many,  insignia  emblematic  of  solar  power.  The 
sunbursts  of  gilt  embroidery  on  the  back  of  the  vestments  of  the  Catholic  priesthood  signify  that  the 
priest  is  also  an  emissary  and  representative  of  Sol  Invictus. 


For  reasons  which  they  doubtless  considered  sufficient,  those  who  chronicled  the  life  and  acts  of 
Jesus  found  it  advisable  to  metamorphose  him  into  a  solar  deity.  The  historical  Jesus  was  forgotten; 
nearly  all  the  salient  incidents  recorded  in  the  four  Gospels  have  their  correlations  in  the  movements, 
phases,  or  functions  of  the  heavenly  bodies. 

Among  other  allegories  borrowed  by  Christianity  from  pagan  antiquity  is  the  story  of  the  beautiful, 
blue-eyed  Sun  God,  with  His  golden  hair  falling  upon  His  shoulders,  robed  from  head  to  foot  in 
spotless  white  and  carrying  in  His  arms  the  Lamb  of  God,  symbolic  of  the  vernal  equinox.  This 
handsome  youth  is  a  composite  of  Apollo,  Osiris,  Orpheus,  Mithras,  and  Bacchus,  for  He  has  certain 
characteristics  in  common  with  each  of  these  pagan  deities. 

The  philosophers  of  Greece  and  Egypt  divided  the  life  of  the  sun  during  the  year  into  four  parts; 
therefore  they  symbolized  the  Solar  Man  by  four  different  figures.  When  He  was  born  in  the  winter 
solstice,  the  Sun  God  was  symbolized  as  a  dependent  infant  who  in  some  mysterious  manner  had 
managed  to  escape  the  Powers  of  Darkness  seeking  to  destroy  Him  while  He  was  still  in  the  cradle  of 
winter.  The  sun,  being  weak  at  this  season  of  the  year,  had  no  golden  rays  (or  locks  of  hair),  but  the 
survival  of  the  light  through  the  darkness  of  winter  was  symbolized  by  one  tiny  hair  which  alone 

adorned  the  head  of  the  Celestial  Child.  (As  the  birth  of  the  sun  took  place  in  Capricorn,  it  was  often 
represented  as  being  suckled  by  a  goat.) 

At  the  vernal  equinox,  the  sun  had  grown  to  be  a  beautiful  youth.  His  golden  hair  hung  in  ringlets  on 
his  shoulders  and  his  light,  as  Schiller  said,  extended  to  all  parts  of  infinity.  At  the  summer  solstice, 
the  sun  became  a  strong  man,  heavily  bearded,  who,  in  the  prime  of  maturity,  symbolized  the  fact 
that  Nature  at  this  period  of  the  year  is  strongest  and  most  fecund.  At  the  autumnal  equinox,  the  sun 
was  pictured  as  an  aged  man,  shuffling  along  with  bended  back  and  whitened  locks  into  the  oblivion 
of  winter  darkness.  Thus,  twelve  months  were  assigned  to  the  sun  as  the  length  of  its  life.  During  this 
period  it  circled  the  twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac  in  a  magnificent  triumphal  march.  When  fall  came,  it 
entered,  like  Samson,  into  the  house  of  Delilah  (Virgo),  where  its  rays  were  cut  off  and  it  lost  its 
strength.  In  Masonry,  the  cruel  winter  months  are  symbolized  by  three  murderers  who  sought  to 
destroy  the  God  of  Light  and  Truth. 

The  coming  of  the  sun  was  hailed  with  joy;  the  time  of  its  departure  was  viewed  as  a  period  to  be  set 
aside  for  sorrow  and  unhappiness.  This  glorious,  radiant  orb  of  day,  the  true  light  "which  lighteth 
every  man  who  cometh  into  the  world,"  the  supreme  benefactor,  who  raised  all  things  from  the  dead, 
who  fed  the  hungry  multitudes,  who  stilled  the  tempest,  who  after  dying  rose  again  and  restored  all 
things  to  life—this  Supreme  Spirit  of  humanitarianism  and  philanthropy  is  known  to  Christendom  as 
Christ,  the  Redeemer  of  worlds,  the  Only  Begotten  of  The  Father,  the  Word  made  Flesh,  and  the  Hope 
of  Glory. 


The  pagans  set  aside  the  25th  of  December  as  the  birthday  of  the  Solar  Man.  They  rejoiced,  feasted, 
gathered  in  processions,  and  made  offerings  in  the  temples.  The  darkness  of  winter  was  over  and  the 
glorious  son  of  light  was  returning  to  the  Northern  Hemisphere.  With  his  last  effort  the  old  Sun  God 
had  torn  down  the  house  of  the  Philistines  (the  Spirits  of  Darkness)  and  had  cleared  the  way  for  the 
new  sun  who  was  born  that  day  from  the  depths  of  the  earth  amidst  the  symbolic  beasts  of  the  lower 

Concerning  this  season  of  celebration,  an  anonymous  Master  of  Arts  of  Balliol  College,  Oxford,  in  his 
scholarly  treatise.  Mankind  Their  Origin  and  Destiny,  says:  "The  Romans  also  had  their  solar  festival, 
and  their  games  of  the  circus  in  honor  of  the  birth  of  the  god  of  day.  It  took  place  the  eighth  day 
before  the  kalends  of  January—that  is,  on  December  25.  Servius,  in  his  commentary  on  verse  720  of 
the  seventh  book  of  the  ^neid,  in  which  Virgil  speaks  of  the  new  sun,  says  that,  properly  speaking, 
the  sun  is  new  on  the  8th  of  the  Kalends  of  January-that  is,  December  25.  In  the  time  of  Leo  I.  (Leo, 
Serm.  xxi.,  De  Nativ.  Dom.  p.  148),  some  of  the  Fathers  of  the  Church  said  that  'what  rendered  the 
festival  (of  Christmas)  venerable  was  less  the  birth  of  Jesus  Christ  than  the  return,  and,  as  they 
expressed  it,  the  new  birth  of  the  sun.'  It  was  on  the  same  day  that  the  birth  of  the  Invincible  Sun 
(Natalis  solis  invicti),  was  celebrated  at  Rome,  as  can  be  seen  in  the  Roman  calendars,  published  in 
the  reign  of  Constantine  and  of  Julian  (Hymn  to  the  Sun,  p.  155).  This  epithet  Tnvictus'  is  the  same  as 
the  Persians  gave  to  this  same  god,  whom  they  worshipped  by  the  name  of  Mithra,  and  whom  they 
caused  to  be  born  in  a  grotto  (Justin.  Dial,  cum  Trips,  p.  305),  just  as  he  is  represented  as  being  bom 
in  a  stable,  under  the  name  of  Christ,  by  the  Christians." 

Concerning  the  Catholic  Feast  of  the  Assumption  and  its  parallel  in  astronomy,  the  same  author  adds: 
"At  the  end  of  eight  months,  when  the  sun-god,  having  increased,  traverses  the  eighth  sign,  he 
absorbs  the  celestial  Virgin  in  his  fiery  course,  and  she  disappears  in  the  midst  of  the  luminous  rays 
and  the  glory  of  her  son.  This  phenomenon,  which  takes  place  every  year  about  the  middle  of  August, 
gave  rise  to  a  festival  which  still  exists,  and  in  which  it  is  supposed  that  the  mother  of  Christ,  laying 
aside  her  earthly  life,  is  associated  with  the  glory  of  her  son,  and  is  placed  at  his  side  in  the  heavens. 
The  Roman  calendar  of  Columella  (Col.  1.  II.  cap.  ii.  p.  429)  marks  the  death  or  disappearance  of 

Virgo  at  this  period.  The  sun,  he  says,  passes  into  Virgo  on  the  thirteenth  day  before  the  kalends  of 
September.  This  is  where  the  Cathohcs  place  the  Feast  of  the  Assumption,  or  the  reunion  of  the  Virgin 
to  her  Son.  This  feast 


From  Lilly's  Astrological  Predictions  for  1648, 1649,  and  1650.) 

The  following  description  of  this  phenomenon  appears  in  a  letter  written  by  Jeremiah  Shakerley  in  Lancashire,  March  4th, 
i648:~"On  Monday  the  28th  of  February  last,  there  arose  with  the  Sun  two  Parelii,  on  either  side  one;  their  distance  from 
him  was  by  estimation,  about  ten  degrees;  they  continued  still  of  the  same  distance  from  the  Zenith,  or  height  above  the 
Horizon,  that  the  Sun  did;  and  from  the  parts  averse  to  the  Sun,  there  seemed  to  issue  out  certain  bright  rays,  not  unlike 
those  which  the  Sun  sendeth  from  behind  a  cloud,  but  brighter.  The  parts  of  these  Parelii  which  were  toward  the  Sun, 
were  of  a  mixt  colour,  wherein  green  and  red  were  most  predominant.  A  little  above  them  was  a  thin  rainbow,  scarcely 
discernible,  of  a  bright  colour,  with  the  concave  towards  the  Sun,  and  the  ends  thereof  seeming  to  touch  the  Parelii:  Above 
that,  in  a  clear  diaphanous  ayr,  [air],  appeared  another  conspicuous  Rainbow,  beautified  with  divers  colours;  it  was  as 
neer  as  I  could  discern  to  the  Zenith;  it  seemed  of  something  a  lesser  radius  than  the  other,  they  being  back  to  back,  yet  a 
pretty  way  between.  At  or  neer  the  apparent  time  of  the  full  Moon,  they  vanished,  leaving  abundance  of  terror  and 
amazement  in  those  that  saw  them.  (See  William  Lilly.) 

p-  51 

was  formerly  called  the  feast  of  the  Passage  of  the  Virgin  (Beausobre,  tome  i.  p.  350);  and  in  the 
Library  of  the  Fathers  (Bibl.  Part.  vol.  II.  part  ii.  p.  212)  we  have  an  account  of  the  Passage  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin.  The  ancient  Greeks  and  Romans  fix  the  assumption  of  Astraea,  who  is  also  this  same 
Virgin,  on  that  day." 

This  Virgin  mother,  giving  birth  to  the  Sun  God  which  Christianity  has  so  faithfully  preserved,  is  a 
reminder  of  the  inscription  concerning  her  Egyptian  prototype,  Isis,  which  appeared  on  the  Temple  of 
Sais:  "The  fruit  which  I  have  brought  forth  is  the  Sun."  While  the  Virgin  was  associated  with  the 
moon  by  the  early  pagans,  there  is  no  doubt  that  they  also  understood  her  position  as  a  constellation 
in  the  heavens,  for  nearly  all  the  peoples  of  antiquity  credit  her  as  being  the  mother  of  the  sun,  and 
they  realized  that  although  the  moon  could  not  occupy  that  position,  the  sign  of  Virgo  could,  and  did, 
give  birth  to  the  sun  out  of  her  side  on  the  25th  day  of  December.  Albertus  Magnus  states,  "We  know 
that  the  sign  of  the  Celestial  Virgin  rose  over  the  Horizon  at  the  moment  at  which  we  fix  the  birth  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 

Among  certain  of  the  Arabian  and  Persian  astronomers  the  three  stars  forming  the  sword  belt  of 
Orion  were  called  the  Magi  who  came  to  pay  homage  to  the  young  Sun  God.  The  author  of  Mankind— 
Their  Origin  and  Destiny  contributes  the  following  additional  information:  "In  Cancer,  which  had 
risen  to  the  meridian  at  midnight,  is  the  constellation  of  the  Stable  and  of  the  Ass.  The  ancients  called 
it  Prgesepe  Jovis.  In  the  north  the  stars  of  the  Bear  are  seen,  called  by  the  Arabians  Martha  and  Mary, 
and  also  the  coffin  of  Lazarus.  "Thus  the  esotericism  of  pagandom  was  embodied  in  Christianity, 

although  its  keys  are  lost.  The  Christian  church  blindly  follows  ancient  customs,  and  when  asked  for  a 
reason  gives  superficial  and  unsatisfactory  explanations,  either  forgetting  or  ignoring  the  indisputable 
fact  that  each  religion  is  based  upon  the  secret  doctrines  of  its  predecessor. 


The  solar  orb,  like  the  nature  of  man,  was  divided  by  the  ancient  sages  into  three  separate  bodies. 
According  to  the  mystics,  there  are  three  suns  in  each  solar  system,  analogous  to  the  three  centers  of 
life  in  each  individual  constitution.  These  are  called  three  lights:  the  spiritual  sun,  the  intellectual  or 
soular  sun,  and  the  material  sun  (now  symbolized  in  Freemasonry  by  three  candles).  The  spiritual 
sun  manifests  the  power  of  God  the  Father;  the  soular  sun  radiates  the  life  of  God  the  Son;  and  the 
material  sun  is  the  vehicle  of  manifestation  for  God  the  Holy  Spirit.  Man's  nature  was  divided  by  the 
mystics  into  three  distinct  parts:  spirit,  soul,  and  body.  His  physical  body  was  unfolded  and  vitalized 
by  the  material  sun;  his  spiritual  nature  was  illuminated  by  the  spiritual  sun;  and  his  intellectual 
nature  was  redeemed  by  the  true  light  of  grace— the  soular  sun.  The  alignment  of  these  three  globes 
in  the  heavens  was  one  explanation  offered  for  the  peculiar  fact  that  the  orbits  of  the  planets  are  not 
circular  but  elliptical. 

The  pagan  priests  always  considered  the  solar  system  as  a  Grand  Man,  and  drew  their  analogy  of 
these  three  centers  of  activity  from  the  three  main  centers  of  life  in  the  human  body:  the  brain,  the 
heart,  and  the  generative  system.  The  Transfiguration  of  Jesus  describes  three  tabernacles,  the  largest 
being  in  the  center  (the  heart),  and  a  smaller  one  on  either  side  (the  brain  and  the  generative  system). 
It  is  possible  that  the  philosophical  hypothesis  of  the  existence  of  the  three  suns  is  based  upon  a 
peculiar  natural  phenomenon  which  has  occurred  many  times  in  history.  In  the  fifty-  first  year  after 
Christ  three  suns  were  seen  at  once  in  the  sky  and  also  in  the  sixty-sixth  year.  In  the  sixty-ninth  year, 
two  suns  were  seen  together.  According  to  William  Lilly,  between  the  years  1156  and  1648  twenty 
similar  occurrences  were  recorded. 

Recognizing  the  sun  as  the  supreme  benefactor  of  the  material  world,  Hermetists  believed  that  there 
was  a  spiritual  sun  which  ministered  to  the  needs  of  the  invisible  and  divine  part  of  Nature—human 
and  universal.  Anent  this  subject,  the  great  Paracelsus  wrote:  "There  is  an  earthly  sun,  which  is  the 
cause  of  all  heat,  and  all  who  are  able  to  see  may  see  the  sun;  and  those  who  are  blind  and  cannot  see 
him  may  feel  his  heat.  There  is  an  Eternal  Sun,  which  is  the  source  of  all  wisdom,  and  those  whose 
spiritual  senses  have  awakened  to  life  will  see  that  sun  and  be  conscious  of  His  existence;  but  those 
who  have  not  attained  spiritual  consciousness  may  yet  feel  His  power  by  an  inner  faculty  which  is 
called  Intuition." 

Certain  Rosicrucian  scholars  have  given  special  appellations  to  these  three  phases  of  the  sun:  the 
spiritual  sun  they  called  Vulcan;  the  soular  and  intellectual  sun,  Christ  and  Lucifer  respectively;  and 
the  material  sun,  the  Jewish  Demiurgus  Jehovah.  Lucifer  here  represents  the  intellectual  mind 
without  the  illumination  of  the  spiritual  mind;  therefore  it  is  "the  false  light. "  The  false  light  is  finally 
overcome  and  redeemed  by  the  true  light  of  the  soul,  called  the  Second  Logos  or  Christ.  The  secret 
processes  by  which  the  Luciferian  intellect  is  transmuted  into  the  Christly  intellect  constitute  one  of 
the  great  secrets  of  alchemy,  and  are  symbolized  by  the  process  of  transmuting  base  metals  into  gold. 

In  the  rare  treatise  The  Secret  Symbols  of  The  Rosicrucians,  Franz  Hartmann  defines  the  sun 
alchemically  as:  "The  symbol  of  Wisdom.  The  Centre  of  Power  or  Heart  of  things.  The  Sun  is  a  centre 
of  energy  and  a  storehouse  of  power.  Each  living  being  contains  within  itself  a  centre  of  life,  which 
may  grow  to  be  a  Sun.  In  the  heart  of  the  regenerated,  the  divine  power,  stimulated  by  the  Light  of  the 
Logos,  grows  into  a  Sun  which  illuminates  his  mind."  In  a  note,  the  same  author  amplifies  his 
description  by  adding:  "The  terrestrial  sun  is  the  image  or  reflection  of  the  invisible  celestial  sun;  the 
former  is  in  the  realm  of  Spirit  what  the  latter  is  in  the  realm  of  Matter;  but  the  latter  receives  its 
power  from  the  former." 

In  the  majority  of  cases,  the  reUgions  of  antiquity  agree  that  the  material  visible  sun  was  a  reflector 

rather  than  a  source  of  power.  The  sun  was  sometimes  represented  as  a  shield  carried  on  the  arm  of 
the  Sun  God,  as  for  example,  Frey,  the  Scandinavian  Solar  Deity.  This  sun  reflected  the  light  of  the 
invisible  spiritual  sun,  which  was  the  true  source  of  life,  light,  and  truth.  The  physical  nature  of  the 
universe  is  receptive;  it  is  a  realm  of  effects.  The  invisible  causes  of  these  effects  belong  to  the  spiritual 
world.  Hence,  the  spiritual  world  is  the  sphere  of  causation;  the  material  world  is  the  sphere  of  effects; 
while  the  intellectual—or  soul—world  is  the  sphere  of  mediation.  Thus  Christ,  the  personified  higher 
intellect  and  soul  nature,  is  called  "the  Mediator"  who,  by  virtue  of  His  position  and  power,  says:  "No 
man  cometh  to  the  Father,  but  by  me." 

What  the  sun  is  to  the  solar  system,  the  spirit  is  to  the  bodies  of  man;  for  his  natures,  organs,  and 
functions  are  as  planets  surrounding  the  central  life  (or  sun)  and  living  upon  its  emanations.  The 
solar  power  in  man  is  divided  into  three  parts,  which  are  termed  the  threefold  human  spirit  of  man. 
All  three  of  these  spiritual  natures  are  said  to  be  radiant  and  transcendent;  united,  they  form  the 
Divinity  in  man.  Man's  threefold  lower  nature— consisting  of  his  physical  organism,  his  emotional 
nature,  and  his  mental  faculties— reflects  the  light  of  his  threefold  Divinity  and  bears  witness  of  It  in 
the  physical  world.  Man's  three  bodies  are  symbolized  by  an  upright  triangle;  his  threefold  spiritual 
nature  by  an  inverted  triangle.  These  two  triangles,  when  united  in  the  form  of  a  six-pointed  star, 
were  called  by  the  Jews  "the  Star  of  David,"  "the  Signet  of  Solomon,"  and  are  more  commonly  known 
today  as  "the  Star  of  Zion."  These  triangles  symbolize  the  spiritual  and  material  universes  linked 
together  in  the  constitution  of  the  human  creature,  who  partakes  of  both  Nature  and  Divinity.  Man's 
animal  nature  partakes  of  the  earth;  his  divine  nature  of  the  heavens;  his  human  nature  of  the 


The  Rosicrucians  and  the  lUuminati,  describing  the  angels,  archangels,  and  other  celestial  creatures, 
declared  that  they  resembled  small  suns,  being  centers  of  radiant  energy  surrounded  by  streamers  of 
Vrilic  force.  From  these  outpouring  streamers  of  force  is  derived  the  popular  belief  that  angels  have 
wings.  These  wings  are  corona-like  fans  of  light,  by  means  of  which  the  celestial  creatures  propel 
themselves  through  the  subtle  essences  of  the  superphysical  worlds. 

True  mystics  are  unanimous  in  their  denial  of  the  theory  that  the  angels  and  archangels  are  human  in 
form,  as  so  often  pictured.  A  human  figure  would  be  utterly  useless  in  the  ethereal  substances 
through  which  they  manifest.  Science  has  long  debated  the  probability  of  the  other  planers  being 
inhabited.  Objections  to  the  idea  are  based  upon  the  argument  that  creatures  with  human  organisms 
could  nor  possibly  exist  in  the  environments  of  Mars,  Jupiter,  Uranus,  and  Neptune.  This  argument 
fails  to  take  into  account  Nature's  universal  law  of  adjustment  to  environment.  The  ancients  asserted 
that  life  originated  from  the  sun,  and  that  everything  when  bathed  in  the  light  of  the  solar  orb  was 
capable  of  absorbing  the  solar  life  elements  and  later  radiating  them  as  flora  and  fauna.  One 

Moor  describes  this  figure  as  follows:  "The  cast  is  nine  inches  in  height,  representing  the  glorious  god  of  day-holding  the 
attributes  of  VISHNU,  seated  on  a  seven-headed  serpent;  his  car  drawn  by  a  seven-headed  horse,  driven  by  the  legless 
ARUN,  a  personification  of  the  dawn,  or  AURORA."  (See  Moor's  Hindu  Pantheon.) 

p-  52 

concept  regarded  the  sun  as  a  parent  and  the  planers  as  embryos  still  connected  to  the  solar  body  by 
means  of  ethereal  umbilical  cords  which  served  as  channels  to  convey  life  and  nourishment  to  the 

Some  secret  orders  have  taught  that  the  sun  was  inhabited  by  a  race  of  creatures  with  bodies 
composed  of  a  radiant,  spiritual  ether  not  unlike  in  its  constituency  the  actual  glowing  ball  of  the  sun 
itself.  The  solar  heat  had  no  harmful  effect  upon  them,  because  their  organisms  were  sufficiently 
refined  and  sensitized  to  harmonize  with  the  sun's  tremendous  vibratory  rate.  These  creatures 
resemble  miniature  suns,  being  a  little  larger  than  a  dinner  plate  in  size,  although  some  of  the  more 
powerful  are  considerably  larger.  Their  color  is  the  golden  white  light  of  the  sun,  and  from  them 
emanate  four  streamers  of  Vril.  These  streamers  are  often  of  great  length  and  are  in  constant  motion. 
A  peculiar  palpitation  is  to  be  noted  throughout  the  structure  of  the  globe  and  is  communicated  in  the 
form  of  ripples  to  the  emanating  streamers.  The  greatest  and  most  luminous  of  these  spheres  is  the 
Archangel  Michael;  and  the  entire  order  of  solar  life,  which  resemble  him  and  dwell  upon  the  sun,  are 
called  by  modern  Christians  "the  archangels"  or  "the  spirits  of  the  light. 


Gold  is  the  metal  of  the  sun  and  has  been  considered  by  many  as  crystallized  sunlight.  When  gold  is 
mentioned  in  alchemical  tracts,  it  may  be  either  the  metal  itself  or  the  celestial  orb  which  is  the  source, 
or  spirit,  of  gold.  Sulphur  because  of  its  fiery  nature  was  also  associated  with  the  sun. 

As  gold  was  the  symbol  of  spirit  and  the  base  metals  represented  man's  lower  nature,  certain 

alchemists  were  called  "miners"  and  were  pictured  with  picks  and  shovels  digging  into  the  earth  in 
search  of  the  precious  metal—those  finer  traits  of  character  buried  in  the  earthiness  of  materiality  and 
ignorance.  The  diamond  concealed  in  the  heart  of  the  black  carbon  illustrated  the  same  principle.  The 
Illuminati  used  a  pearl  hidden  in  the  shell  of  an  oyster  at  the  bottom  of  the  sea  to  signify  spiritual 
powers.  Thus  the  seeker  after  truth  became  a  pearl-fisher:  he  descended  into  the  sea  of  material 
illusion  in  search  of  understanding,  termed  by  the  initiates  "the  Pearl  of  Great  Price." 

When  the  alchemists  stated  that  every  animate  and  inanimate  thing  in  the  universe  contained  the 
seeds  of  gold,  they  meant  that  even  the  grains  of  sand  possessed  a  spiritual  nature,  for  gold  was  the 
spirit  of  all  things.  Concerning  these  seeds  of  spiritual  gold  the  following  Rosicrucian  axiom  is 
significant:  "A  seed  is  useless  and  impotent  unless  it  is  put  in  its  appropriate  matrix."  Franz 
Hartmann  comments  on  this  axiom  with  these  illuminating  words:  "A  soul  cannot  develop  and 
progress  without  an  appropriate  body,  because  it  is  the  physical  body  that  furnishes  the  material  for 
its  development."  (See  In  the  Pronaos  of  the  Temple  of  Wisdom.) 

The  purpose  of  alchemy  was  not  to  make  something  out  of  nothing  but  rather  to  fertilize  and  nurture 
the  seed  which  was  already  present.  Its  processes  did  nor  actually  create  gold  but  rather  made  the 
ever-present  seed  of  gold  grow  and  flourish.  Everything  which  exists  has  a  spirit—the  seed  of  Divinity 
within  itself— and  regeneration  is  not  the  process  of  attempting  to  place  something  where  it  previously 
had  not  existed.  Regeneration  actually  means  the  unfoldment  of  the  omnipresent  Divinity  in  man, 
that  this  Divinity  may  shine  forth  as  a  sun  and  illumine  all  with  whom  it  comes  in  contact. 


Apuleius  said  when  describing  his  initiation  (vide  ante):  "At  midnight  I  saw  the  sun  shining  with  a 
splendid  light."  The  midnight  sun  was  also  part  of  the  mystery  of  alchemy.  It  symbolized  the  spirit  in 
man  shining  through  the  darkness  of  his  human  organisms.  It  also  referred  to  the  spiritual  sun  in  the 
solar  system,  which  the  mystic  could  see  as  well  at  midnight  as  at  high  noon,  the  material  earth  bring 
powerless  to  obstruct  the  rays  of  this  Divine  orb.  The  mysterious  lights  which  illuminated  the  temples 
of  the  Egyptian  Mysteries  during  the  nocturnal  hours  were  said  by  some  to  he  reflections  of  the 
spiritual  sun  gathered  by  the  magical  powers  of  the  priests.  The  weird  light  seen  ten  miles  below  the 
surface  of  the  earth  by  I-AM-THE-MAN  in  that  remarkable  Masonic  allegory  Etidorhpa  (Aphrodite 
spelt  backward)  may  well  refer  to  the  mysterious  midnight  sun  of  the  ancient  rites. 

Primitive  conceptions  concerning  the  warfare  between  the  principles  of  Good  and  Evil  were  often 
based  upon  the  alternations  of  day  and  night.  During  the  Middle  Ages,  the  practices  of  black  magic 
were  confined  to  the  nocturnal  hours;  and  those  who  served  the  Spirit  of  Evil  were  called  black 
magicians,  while  those  who  served  the  Spirit  of  Good  were  called  white  magicians.  Black  and  white 
were  associated  respectively  with  night  and  day,  and  the  endless  conflict  of  light  and  shadow  is 
alluded  to  many  times  in  the  mythologies  of  various  peoples. 

The  Egyptian  Demon,  Typhon,  was  symbolized  as  part  crocodile  and  part:  hog  because  these  animals 
are  gross  and  earthy  in  both  appearance  and  temperament.  Since  the  world  began,  living  things  have 
feared  the  darkness;  those  few  creatures  who  use  it  as  a  shield  for  their  maneuvers  were  usually 
connected  with  the  Spirit  of  Evil.  Consequently  cats,  bats,  toads,  and  owls  are  associated  with 
witchcraft.  In  certain  parts  of  Europe  it  is  still  believed  that  at  night  black  magicians  assume  the 
bodies  of  wolves  and  roam  around  destroying.  From  this  notion  originated  the  stories  of  the 
werewolves.  Serpents,  because  they  lived  in  the  earth,  were  associated  with  the  Spirit  of  Darkness.  As 
the  battle  between  Good  and  Evil  centers  around  the  use  of  the  generative  forces  of  Nature,  winged 
serpents  represent  the  regeneration  of  the  animal  nature  of  man  or  those  Great  Ones  in  whom  this 
regeneration  is  complete.  Among  the  Egyptians  the  sun's  rays  are  often  shown  ending  in  human 

hands.  Masons  will  find  a  connection  between  these  hands  and  the  well-known  Paw  of  the  Lion  which 
raises  all  things  to  life  with  its  grip. 


The  theory  so  long  held  of  three  primary  and  four  secondary  colors  is  purely  exoteric,  for  since  the 
earliest  periods  it  has  been  known  that  there  are  seven,  and  not  three,  primary  colors,  the  human  eye 
being  capable  of  estimating  only  three  of  them.  Thus,  although  green  can  be  made  by  combining  blue 
and  yellow,  there  is  also  a  true  or  primary  green  which  is  not  a  compound.  This  can  he  proved  by 
breaking  up  the  spectrum  with  a  prism.  Helmholtz  found  that  the  so-called  secondary  colors  of  the 
spectrum  could  not  be  broken  up  into  their  supposed  primary  colors.  Thus  the  orange  of  the  spectrum, 
if  passed  through  a  second  prism,  does  not  break  up  into  red  and  yellow  but  remains  orange. 

Consciousness,  intelligence,  and  force  are  fittingly  symbolized  by  the  colors  blue,  yellow,  and  red.  The 

therapeutic  effects  of  the  colors,  moreover,  are  in  harmony  with  this  concept,  for  blue  is  a  fine, 
soothing,  electrical  color;  yellow,  a  vitalizing  and  refining  color;  and  red,  an  agitating  and  heat-giving 
color.  It  has  also  been  demonstrated  that  minerals  and  plants  affect  the  human  constitution  according 
to  their  colors.  Thus  a  yellow  flower  generally  yields  a  medicine  that  affects  the  constitution  in  a 
manner  similar  to  yellow  light  or  the  musical  tone  mi.  An  orange  flower  will  influence  in  a  manner 
similar  to  orange  light  and,  being  one  of  the  so-called  secondary  colors,  corresponds  either  to  the  tone 
re  or  to  the  chord  of  do  and  mi. 

The  ancients  conceived  the  spirit  of  man  to  correspond  with  the  color  blue,  the  mind  with  yellow,  and 
the  body  with  red.  Heaven  is  therefore  blue,  earth  yellow,  and  hell~or  the  underworld—red.  The  fiery 
condition  of  the  inferno  merely  symbolizes  the  nature  of  the  sphere  or  plane  of  force  of  which  it  is 
composed.  In  the  Greek  Mysteries  the  irrational  sphere  was  always  considered  as  red,  for  it 
represented  that  condition  in  which  the  consciousness  is  enslaved  by  the  lusts  and  passions  of  the 
lower  nature.  In  India  certain  of  the  gods—usually  attributes  of  Vishnu— are  depicted  with  blue  skin  to 
signify  their  divine  and  supermundane  constitution.  According  to  esoteric  philosophy,  blue  is  the  true 
and  sacred  color  of  the  sun.  The  apparent  orange-yellow  shade  of  this  orb  is  the  result  of  its  rays  being 
immersed  in  the  substances  of  the  illusionary  world. 

In  the  original  symbolism  of  the  Christian  Church,  colors  were  of  first  importance  and  their  use  was 
regulated  according  to  carefully  prepared  rules.  Since  the  Middle  Ages,  however,  the  carelessness 
with  which  colors  have  been  employed  has  resulted  in  the  loss  of  their  deeper  emblematic  meanings. 
In  its  primary  aspect,  white  or  silver  signified  life,  purity,  innocence,  joy,  and  light;  red,  the  suffering 
and  death  of  Christ  and  His  saints,  and  also  divine  love,  blood,  and  warfare  or  suffering;  blue,  the 
heavenly  sphere  and  the  states  of  godliness  and  contemplation;  yellow  or  gold,  glory,  fruitfulness,  and 
goodness;  green,  fecundity,  youthfulness,  and  prosperity;  violet,  humility,  deep  affection,  and  sorrow; 
black,  death,  destruction,  and  humiliation.  In  early  church  art  the  colors  of  robes  and  ornaments  also 
revealed  whether  a  saint  had  been  martyred,  as  well  as  the  character  of  the  work  that  he  had  done  to 
deserve  canonization. 

In  addition  to  the  colors  of  the  spectrum  there  are  a  vast  number  of  vibratory  color  waves,  some  too 
low  and  others  too  high  to  be  registered  by  the  human  optical  apparatus.  It  is  appalling  to 
contemplate  man's  colossal  ignorance  concerning  these  vistas  of  abstract  space.  As  in  the  past  man 
explored  unknown  continents,  so  in  the  future,  armed  with  curious  implements  fashioned  for  the 
purpose,  he  will  explore  these  little  known  fastnesses  of  light,  color,  sound,  and  consciousness. 


From  Montfaucon's  Antiquities. 

The  corona  of  the  sun  is  here  shown  in  the  form  of  a  hon's  mane.  This  is  a  subtle  reminder  of  the  fact  that  at  one  time  the 
summer  solstice  took  place  in  the  sign  of  Leo,  the  Celestial  Lion. 

P-  53 

The  Zodiac  and  Its  Signs 

IT  is  difficult  for  this  age  to  estimate  correctly  the  profound  effect  produced  upon  the  religions, 
philosophies,  and  sciences  of  antiquity  by  the  study  of  the  planets,  luminaries,  and  constellations.  Not 
without  adequate  reason  were  the  Magi  of  Persia  called  the  Star  Gazers.  The  Egyptians  were  honored 
with  a  special  appellation  because  of  their  proficiency  in  computing  the  power  and  motion  of  the 
heavenly  bodies  and  their  effect  upon  the  destinies  of  nations  and  individuals.  Ruins  of  primitive 
astronomical  observatories  have  been  discovered  in  all  parts  of  the  world,  although  in  many  cases 
modern  archaeologists  are  unaware  of  the  true  purpose  for  which  these  structures  were  erected.  While 
the  telescope  was  unknown  to  ancient  astronomers,  they  made  many  remarkable  calculations  with 
instruments  cut  from  blocks  of  granite  or  pounded  from  sheets  of  brass  and  cop  per.  In  India  such 
instruments  are  still  in  use,  and  they  posses  a  high  degree  of  accuracy.  In  Jaipur,  Rajputana,  India,  an 
observatory  consisting  largely  of  immense  stone  sundials  is  still  in  operation.  The  famous  Chinese 
observatory  on  the  wall  of  Peking  consists  of  immense  bronze  instruments,  including  a  telescope  in 
the  form  of  a  hollow  tube  without  lenses. 

The  pagans  looked  upon  the  stars  as  living  things,  capable  of  influencing  the  destinies  of  individuals, 
nations,  and  races.  That  the  early  Jewish  patriarchs  believed  that  the  celestial  bodies  participated  in 
the  affairs  of  men  is  evident  to  any  student  of  Biblical  literature,  as,  for  example,  in  the  Book  of 
Judges:  "They  fought  from  heaven,  even  the  stars  in  their  courses  fought  against  Sisera."  The 
Chaldeans,  Phoenicians,  Egyptians,  Persians,  Hindus,  and  Chinese  all  had  zodiacs  that  were  much 
alike  in  general  character,  and  different  authorities  have  credited  each  of  these  nations  with  being  the 
cradle  of  astrology  and  astronomy.  The  Central  and  North  American  Indians  also  had  an 
understanding  of  the  zodiac,  but  the  patterns  and  numbers  of  the  signs  differed  in  many  details  from 
those  of  the  Eastern  Hemisphere. 

The  word  zodiac  is  derived  from  the  Greek  ^coSiaKog  (zodiakos),  which  means  "a  circle  of  animals,"  or, 
as  some  believe,  "little  animals."  It  is  the  name  given  by  the  old  pagan  astronomers  to  a  band  of  fixed 
stars  about  sixteen  degrees  wide,  apparently  encircling  the  earth.  Robert  Hewitt  Brown,  32°,  states 
that  the  Greek  word  zodiakos  comes  from  zo-on,  meaning  "an  animal."  He  adds:  "This  latter  word  is 
compounded  directly  from  the  primitive  Egyptian  radicals,  zo,  life,  and  on,  a  being." 

The  Greeks,  and  later  other  peoples  influenced  by  their  culture,  divided  the  band  of  the  zodiac  into 
twelve  sections,  each  being  sixteen  degrees  in  width  and  thirty  degrees  in  length.  These  divisions  were 
called  the  Houses  of  the  Zodiac.  The  sun  during  its  annual  pilgrimage  passed  through  each  of  these  in 
turn.  Imaginary  creatures  were  traced  in  the  Star  groups  bounded  by  these  rectangles;  and  because 
most  of  them  were  animal—or  part  animal—in  form,  they  later  became  known  as  the  Constellations, 
or  Signs,  of  the  Zodiac. 

There  is  a  popular  theory  concerning  the  origin  of  the  zodiacal  creatures  to  the  effect  that  they  were 
products  of  the  imagination  of  shepherds,  who,  watching  their  flocks  at  night,  occupied  their  minds 
by  tracing  the  forms  of  animals  and  birds  in  the  heavens.  This  theory  is  untenable,  unless  the 
"shepherds"  be  regarded  as  the  shepherd  priests  of  antiquity.  It  is  unlikely  that  the  zodiacal  signs 
were  derived  from  the  star  groups  which  they  now  represent.  It  is  far  more  probable  that  the 
creatures  assigned  to  the  twelve  houses  are  symbolic  of  the  qualities  and  intensity  of  the  sun's  power 
while  it  occupies  different  parts  of  the  zodiacal  belt. 

On  this  subject  Richard  Payne  Knight  writes:  "The  emblematical  meaning,  which  certain  animals 
were  employed  to  signify,  was  only  some  particular  property  generalized;  and,  therefore,  might  easily 
be  invented  or  discovered  by  the  natural  operation  of  the  mind:  but  the  collections  of  stars,  named 

after  certain  animals,  have  no  resemblance  whatever  to  those  animals;  which  are  therefore  merely 
signs  of  convention  adopted  to  distinguish  certain  portions  of  the  heavens,  which  were  probably 
consecrated  to  those  particular  personified  attributes,  which  they  respectively  represented."  {The 
Symbolical  Language  of  Ancient  Art  and  Mythology.) 

Some  authorities  are  of  the  opinion  that  the  zodiac  was  originally  divided  into  ten  (instead  of  twelve) 
houses,  or  "solar  mansions."  In  early  times  there  were  two  separate  standards—one  solar  and  the 
other  lunar—used  for  the  measurement  of  the  months,  years,  and  seasons.  The  solar  year  was 
composed  of  ten  months  of  thirty-six  days  each,  and  five  days  sacred  to  the  gods.  The  lunar  year 
consisted  of  thirteen  months  of  twenty-eight  days  each,  with  one  day  left  over.  The  solar  zodiac  at  that 
time  consisted  often  houses  of  thirty-six  degrees  each. 

The  first  six  signs  of  the  zodiac  of  twelve  signs  were  regarded  as  benevolent,  because  the  sun  occupied 
them  while  traversing  the  Northern  Hemisphere.  The  6,000  years  during  which,  according  to  the 
Persians,  Ahura-Mazda  ruled  His  universe  in  harmony  and  peace,  were  symbolic  of  these  six  signs. 
The  second  six  were  considered  malevolent,  because  while  the  sun  was  traveling  the  Southern 
Hemisphere  it  was  winter  with  the  Greeks,  Egyptians,  and  Persians.  Therefore  these  six  months 
symbolic  of  the  6,000  years  of  misery  and  suffering  caused  by  the  evil  genius  of  the  Persians, 
Ahriman,  who  sought  to  overthrow  the  power  of  Ahura-Mazda. 

Those  who  hold  the  opinion  that  before  its  revision  by  the  Greeks  the  zodiac  consisted  of  only  ten 
signs  adduce  evidence  to  show  that  Libra  (the  Scales)  was  inserted  into  the  zodiac  by  dividing  the 
constellation  of  Virgo  Scorpio  (at  that  time  one  sign)  into  two  parts,  thus  establishing  "the  balance"  at 
the  point  of  equilibrium  between  the  ascending  northern  and  the  descending  southern  signs.  (See  The 
Rosicrucians,  Their  Rites  and  Mysteries,  by  Hargrave  Jennings.)  On  this  subject  Isaac  Myer  states: 
"We  think  that  the  Zodiacal  constellations  were  first  ten  and  represented  an  immense  androgenic 
man  or  deity;  subsequently  this  was  changed,  resulting  in  Scorpio  and  Virgo  and  making  eleven;  after 
this  from  Scorpio,  Libra,  the  Balance,  was  taken,  making  the  present  twelve."  {The  Qabbalah.) 

Each  year  the  sun  passes  entirely  around  the  zodiac  and  returns  to  the  point  from  which  it  started— 
the  vernal  equinox— and  each  year  it  falls  just  a  little  short  of  making  the  complete  circle  of  the 
heavens  in  the  allotted  period  of  time.  As  a  result,  it  crosses  the  equator  just  a  little  behind  the  spot  in 
the  zodiacal  sign  where  it  crossed  the  previous  year.  Each  sign  of  the  zodiac  consists  of  thirty  degrees, 
and  as  the  sun  loses  about  one  degree  every  seventy  two  years,  it  regresses  through  one  entire 
constellation  (or  sign)  in  approximately  2,160  years,  and  through  the  entire  zodiac  in  about  [paragraph 



From  Kircher's  (Edipus  Mgyptiacus. 

The  ornamental  border  contains  groups  of  names  of  animal,  mineral,  and  vegetable  substances.  Their  relationship  to 
corresponding  parts  of  the  human  body  is  shown  by  the  dotted  lines.  The  words  in  capital  letters  on  the  dotted  lines 
indicate  to  what  corporeal  member,  organ,  or  disease,  the  herb  or  other  substance  is  related.  The  favorable  positions  in 
relation  to  the  time  of  year  are  shown  by  the  signs  of  the  zodiac,  each  house  of  which  is  divided  by  crosses  into  its  three 
decans.  This  influence  is  further  emphasized  by  the  series  of  planetary  signs  placed  on  either  side  of  the  figure. 

The  plane  of  the  zodiac  intersects  the  celestial  equator  at  an  angle  of  approximately  23°  28'.  The  two  points  of  intersection 
(A  and  B)  are  called  the  equinoxes. 

25,920  years.  (Authorities  disagree  concerning  these  figures.)  This  retrograde  motion  is  called  the 
precession  of  the  equinoxes.  This  means  that  in  the  course  of  about  25,920  years,  which  constitute 


P-  54 

one  Great  Solar  or  Platonic  Year,  each  one  of  the  twelve  constellations  occupies  a  position  at  the 
vernal  equinox  for  nearly  2,160  years,  then  gives  place  to  the  previous  sign. 

Among  the  ancients  the  sun  was  always  symbolized  by  the  figure  and  nature  of  the  constellation 
through  which  it  passed  at  the  vernal  equinox.  For  nearly  the  past  2,000  years  the  sun  has  crossed  the 
equator  at  the  vernal  equinox  in  the  constellation  of  Pisces  (the  Two  Fishes).  For  the  2,160  years 
before  that  it  crossed  through  the  constellation  of  Aries  (the  Ram).  Prior  to  that  the  vernal  equinox 
was  in  the  sign  of  Taurus  (the  Bull).  It  is  probable  that  the  form  of  the  bull  and  the  bull's  proclivities 
were  assigned  to  this  constellation  because  the  bull  was  used  by  the  ancients  to  plow  the  fields,  and 
the  season  set  aside  for  plowing  and  furrowing  corresponded  to  the  time  at  which  the  sun  reached  the 
segment  of  the  heavens  named  Taurus. 

Albert  Pike  describes  the  reverence  which  the  Persians  felt  for  this  sign  and  the  method  of  astrological 
symbolism  in  vogue  among  them,  thus:  "In  Zoroaster's  cave  of  initiation,  the  Sun  and  Planets  were 
represented,  overhead,  in  gems  and  gold,  as  was  also  the  Zodiac.  The  Sun  appeared,  emerging  from 
the  back  of  Taurus. "  In  the  constellation  of  the  Bull  are  also  to  be  found  the  "Seven  Sisters"~the 
sacred  Pleiades—famous  to  Freemasonry  as  the  Seven  Stars  at  the  upper  end  of  the  Sacred  Ladder. 

In  ancient  Egypt  it  was  during  this  period— when  the  vernal  equinox  was  in  the  sign  of  Taurus— that 
the  Bull,  Apis,  was  sacred  to  the  Sun  God,  who  was  worshiped  through  the  animal  equivalent  of  the 
celestial  sign  which  he  had  impregnated  with  his  presence  at  the  time  of  its  crossing  into  the  Northern 
Hemisphere.  This  is  the  meaning  of  an  ancient  saying  that  the  celestial  Bull  "broke  the  egg  of  the  year 
with  his  horns." 

Sampson  Arnold  Mackey,  in  his  Mythological  Astronomy  of  the  Ancients  Demonstrated,  makes  note 
of  two  very  interesting  points  concerning  the  bull  in  Egyptian  symbolism.  Mr.  Mackey  is  of  the 
opinion  that  the  motion  of  the  earth  that  we  know  as  the  alternation  of  the  poles  has  resulted  in  a 
great  change  of  relative  position  of  the  equator  and  the  zodiacal  band.  He  believes  that  originally  the 
band  of  the  zodiac  was  at  right  angles  to  the  equator,  with  the  sign  of  Cancer  opposite  the  north  pole 
and  the  sign  of  Capricorn  opposite  the  south  pole.  It  is  possible  that  the  Orphic  symbol  of  the  serpent 
twisted  around  the  egg  attempts  to  show  the  motion  of  the  sun  in  relation  to  the  earth  under  such 
conditions.  Mr.  Mackey  advances  the  Labyrinth  of  Crete,  the  name  Abraxas,  and  the  magic  formula, 
abracadabra,  among  other  things,  to  substantiate  his  theory.  Concerning  abracadabra  he  states: 

"But  the  slow  progressive  disappearance  of  the  Bull  is  most  happily  commemorated  in  the  vanishing 
series  of  letters  so  emphatically  expressive  of  the  great  astronomical  fact.  For  ABRACADABRA  is  The 
Bull,  the  only  Bull.  The  ancient  sentence  split  into  its  component  parts  stands  thus:  Ab'r-achad-ab'ra, 
i.  e.,  Ab'r,  the  Bull;  achad,  the  only,  &c.— Achad  is  one  of  the  names  of  the  Sun,  given  him  in 
consequence  of  his  Shining  ALONE,— he  is  the  ONLY  Star  to  be  seen  when  he  is  seen— the  remaining 
ab'ra,  makes  the  whole  to  be,  The  Bull,  the  only  Bull;  while  the  repetition  of  the  name  omitting  a  letter, 
till  all  is  gone,  is  the  most  simple,  yet  the  most  satisfactory  method  that  could  have  been  devised  to 
preserve  the  memory  of  the  fact;  and  the  name  of  Sorapis,  or  Serapis,  given  to  the  Bull  at  the  above 
ceremony  puts  it  beyond  all  doubt.  *  *  *  This  word  (Abracadabra)  disappears  in  eleven  decreasing 
stages;  as  in  the  figure.  And  what  is  very  remarkable,  a  body  with  three  heads  is  folded  up  by  a 
Serpent  with  eleven  Coils,  and  placed  by  Sorapis:  and  the  eleven  Volves  of  the  Serpent  form  a  triangle 
similar  to  that  formed  by  the  ELEVEN  diminishing  lines  of  the  abracadabra." 

Nearly  every  religion  of  the  world  shows  traces  of  astrological  influence.  The  Old  Testament  of  the 
Jews,  its  writings  overshadowed  by  Egyptian  culture,  is  a  mass  of  astrological  and  astronomical 
allegories.  Nearly  all  the  mythology  of  Greece  and  Rome  maybe  traced  in  star  groups.  Some  writers 
are  of  the  opinion  that  the  original  twenty-two  letters  of  the  Hebrew  alphabet  were  derived  from 
groups  of  stars,  and  that  the  starry  handwriting  on  the  wall  of  the  heavens  referred  to  words  spelt  out. 

with  fixed  stars  for  consonants,  and  the  planets,  or  luminaries,  for  vowels.  These,  coming  into  ever- 
different  combinations,  spelt  words  which,  when  properly  read,  foretold  future  events. 

As  the  zodiacal  band  marks  the  pathway  of  the  sun  through  the  constellations,  it  results  in  the 
phenomena  of  the  seasons.  The  ancient  systems  of  measuring  the  year  were  based  upon  the 
equinoxes  and  the  solstices.  The  year  always  began  with  the  vernal  equinox,  celebrated  March  21  with 
rejoicing  to  mark  the  moment  when  the  sun  crossed  the  equator  northward  up  the  zodiacal  arc.  The 
summer  solstice  was  celebrated  when  the  sun  reached  its  most  northerly  position,  and  the  day 
appointed  was  June  21.  After  that  time  the  sun  began  to  descend  toward  the  equator,  which  it 
recrossed  southbound  at  the  autumnal  equinox,  September  21.  The  sun  reached  its  most  southerly 
position  at  the  winter  solstice,  December  21. 

Four  of  the  signs  of  the  zodiac  have  been  permanently  dedicated  to  the  equinoxes  and  the  solstices; 
and,  while  the  signs  no  longer  correspond  with  the  ancient  constellations  to  which  they  were  assigned, 
and  from  which  they  secured  their  names,  they  are  accepted  by  modern  astronomers  as  a  basis  of 
calculation.  The  vernal  equinox  is  therefore  said  to  occur  in  the  constellation  of  Aries  (the  Ram).  It  is 
fitting  that  of  all  beasts  a  Ram  should  be  placed  at  the  head  of  the  heavenly  flock  forming  the  zodiacal 
band.  Centuries  before  the  Christian  Era,  the  pagans  revered  this  constellation.  Godfrey  Higgins 
states:  "This  constellation  was  called  the  'Lamb  of  God.'  He  was  also  called  the  'Savior,'  and  was  said 
to  save  mankind  from  their  sins.  He  was  always  honored  with  the  appellation  of  'Dominus'  or  'Lord.' 
He  was  called  the  'Lamb  of  God  which  taketh  away  the  sins  of  the  world.'  The  devotees  addressing 
him  in  their  litany,  constantly  repeated  the  words,  'O  Lamb  of  God,  that  taketh  away  the  sin  of  the 
world,  have  mercy  upon  us.  Grant  us  Thy  peace.'"  Therefore,  the  Lamb  of  God  is  a  title  given  to  the 
sun,  who  is  said  to  be  reborn  every  year  in  the  Northern  Hemisphere  in  the  sign  of  the  Ram,  although, 
due  to  the  existing  discrepancy  between  the  signs  of  the  zodiac  and  the  actual  star  groups,  it  actually 
rises  in  the  sign  of  Pisces. 

The  summer  solstice  is  regarded  as  occurring  in  Cancer  (the  Crab),  which  the  Egyptians  called  the 
scarab— a  beetle  of  the  family  Lamellicornes,  the  head  of  the  insect  kingdom,  and  sacred  to  the 
Egyptians  as  the  symbol  of  Eternal  Life.  It  is  evident  that  the  constellation  of  the  Crab  is  represented 
by  this  peculiar  creature  because  the  sun,  after  passing  through  this  house,  proceeds  to  walk 
backwards,  or  descend  the  zodiacal  arc.  Cancer  is  the  symbol  of  generation,  for  it  is  the  house  of  the 
Moon,  the  great  Mother  of  all  things  and  the  patroness  of  the  life  forces  of  Nature.  Diana,  the  moon 
goddess  of  the  Greeks,  is  called  the  Mother  of  the  World.  Concerning  the  worship  of  the  feminine  or 
maternal  principle,  Richard  Payne  Knight  writes: 

"By  attracting  or  heaving  the  waters  of  the  ocean,  she  naturally  appeared  to  be  the  sovereign  of 
humidity;  and  by  seeming  to  operate  so  powerfully  upon  the  constitutions  of  women,  she  equally 
appeared  to  be  the  patroness  and  regulatress  of  nutrition  and  passive  generation:  whence  she  is  said 
to  have  received  her  nymphs,  or  subordinate  personifications,  from  the  ocean;  and  is  often 
represented  by  the  symbol  of  the  sea  crab,  an  animal  that  has  the  property  of  spontaneously 
detaching  from  its  own  body  any  limb  that  has  been  hurt  or  mutilated,  and  reproducing  another  in  its 
place."  (The  Symbolical  Language  of  Ancient  Art  and  Mythology .)  This  water  sign,  being  symbolic  of 
the  maternal  principle  of  Nature,  and  recognized  by  the  pagans  as  the  origin  of  all  life,  was  a  natural 
and  consistent  domicile  of  the  moon. 

The  autumnal  equinox  apparently  occurs  in  the  constellation  of  Libra  (the  Balances).  The  scales 
tipped  and  the  solar  globe  began  its  pilgrimage  toward  the  house  of  winter.  The  constellation  of  the 
Scales  was  placed  in  the  zodiac  to  symbolize  the  power  of  choice,  by  means  of  which  man  may  weigh 
one  problem  against  another.  Millions  of  years  ago,  when  the  human  race  was  in  the  making,  man 
was  like  the  angels,  who  knew  neither  good  nor  evil.  He  fell  into  the  state  of  the  knowledge  of  good 
and  evil  when  the  gods  gave  him  the  seed  for  the  mental  nature.  From  man's  mental  reactions  to  his 
environments  he  distills  the  product  of  experience,  which  then  aids  him  to  regain  his  lost  position 

plus  an  individualized  intelligence.  Paracelsus  said:  "The  body  comes  from  the  elements,  the  soul 
from  the  stars,  and  the  spirit  from  God.  All  that  the  intellect  can  conceive  of  comes  from  the  stars  [the 
spirits  of  the  stars,  rather  than  the  material  constellations]." 

The  constellation  of  Capricorn,  in  which  the  winter  solstice  theoretically  takes  place,  was  called  The 

House  of  Death,  for  in  winter  all  life  in  the  Northern  Hemisphere  is  at  its  lowest  ebb.  Capricorn  is  a 
composite  creature,  with  the  head  and  upper  body  of  a  goat  and  the  tail  of  a  fish.  In  this  constellation 
the  sun  is  least  powerful 


From  Schotus'  Margarita  Philosophica. 

The  pagans  believed  that  the  zodiac  formed  the  body  of  the  Grand  Man  of  the  Universe.  This  body,  which  they  called  the 
Macrocosm  (the  Great  World),  was  divided  into  twelve  major  parts,  one  of  which  was  under  the  control  of  the  celestial 
powers  reposing  in  each  of  the  zodiacal  constellations.  Believing  that  the  entire  universal  system  was  epitomized  in  man's 
body,  which  they  called  the  Microcosm  (the  Little  World),  they  evolved  that  now  familiar  figure  of  "the  cut-up  man  in  the 
almanac"  by  allotting  a  sign  of  the  zodiac  to  each  of  twelve  major  parts  of  the  human  body. 

P-  55 

in  the  Northern  Hemisphere,  and  after  passing  through  this  constellation  it  immediately  begins  to 
increase.  Hence  the  Greeks  said  that  Jupiter  (a  name  of  the  Sun  God)  was  suckled  by  a  goat.  A  new 
and  different  sidelight  on  zodiacal  symbolism  is  supplied  by  John  Cole,  in  A  Treatise  on  the  Circular 
Zodiac  ofTentyra,  in  Egypt:  "The  symbol  therefore  of  the  Goat  rising  from  the  body  of  a  fish 
[Capricorn],  represents  with  the  greatest  propriety  the  mountainous  buildings  of  Babylon  rising  out 
of  its  low  and  marshy  situation;  the  two  horns  of  the  Goat  being  emblematical  of  the  two  towns, 
Nineveh  and  Babylon,  the  former  built  on  the  Tigris,  the  latter  on  the  Euphrates;  but  both  subjected 
to  one  sovereignty." 

The  period  of  2,160  years  required  for  the  regression  of  the  sun  through  one  of  the  zodiacal 
constellations  is  often  termed  an  age.  According  to  this  system,  the  age  secured  its  name  from  the  sign 
through  which  the  sun  passes  year  after  year  as  it  crosses  the  equator  at  the  vernal  equinox.  From  this 
arrangement  are  derived  the  terms  The  Taurian  Age,  The  Aryan  Age,  The  Piscean  Age,  and  The 

Aquarian  Age.  During  these  periods,  or  ages,  religious  worship  takes  the  form  of  the  appropriate 

celestial  sign—that  which  the  sun  is  said  to  assume  as  a  personality  in  the  same  manner  that  a  spirit 
assumes  a  body.  These  twelve  signs  are  the  jewels  of  his  breastplate  and  his  light  shines  forth  from 
them,  one  after  the  other. 

From  a  consideration  of  this  system,  it  is  readily  understood  why  certain  religious  symbols  were 
adopted  during  different  ages  of  the  earth's  history;  for  during  the  2,160  years  the  sun  was  in  the 
constellation  of  Taurus,  it  is  said  that  the  Solar  Deity  assumed  the  body  of  Apis,  and  the  Bull  became 
sacred  to  Osiris.  (For  details  concerning  the  astrological  ages  as  related  to  Biblical  symbolism,  see  The 
Message  of  the  Stars  by  Max  and  Augusta  Foss  Heindel.)  During  the  Aryan  Age  the  Lamb  was  held 
sacred  and  the  priests  were  called  shepherds.  Sheep  and  goats  were  sacrificed  upon  the  altars,  and  a 
scapegoat  was  appointed  to  bear  the  sins  of  Israel. 

During  the  Age  of  Pisces,  the  Fish  was  the  symbol  of  divinity  and  the  Sun  God  fed  the  multitude  with 
two  small  fishes.  The  frontispiece  oilnmon's  Ancient  Faiths  shows  the  goddess  Isis  with  a  fish  on  her 
head;  and  the  Indian  Savior  God,  Christna,  in  one  of  his  incarnations  was  cast  from  the  mouth  of  a 

Not  only  is  Jesus  often  referred  to  as  the  Fisher  of  Men,  but  as  John  P.  Lundy  writes:  "The  word  Fish 
is  an  abbreviation  of  this  whole  title,  Jesus  Christ,  Son  of  God,  Savior,  and  Cross;  or  as  St.  Augustine 
expresses  it,  'If  you  join  together  the  initial  letters  of  the  five  Greek  words,  Iriaoug  Xpioxo?  Qeov  Yioo 
Scoxfip,  which  mean  Jesus  Christ,  Son  of  God,  Savior,  they  will  make  1X0 YE,  Fish,  in  which  word 
Christ  is  mystically  understood,  because  He  was  able  to  live  in  the  abyss  of  this  mortality  as  in  the 
depth  of  waters,  that  is,  without  sin.'"  (Monumental  Christianity.)  Many  Christians  observe  Friday, 
which  is  sacred  to  the  Virgin  (Venus),  upon  which  day  they  shall  eat  fish  and  not  meat.  The  sign  of  the 
fish  was  one  of  the  earliest  symbols  of  Christianity;  and  when  drawn  upon  the  sand,  it  informed  one 
Christian  that  another  of  the  same  faith  was  near. 

Aquarius  is  called  the  Sign  of  the  Water  Bearer,  or  the  man  with  a  jug  of  water  on  his  shoulder 
mentioned  in  the  New  Testament.  This  is  sometimes  shown  as  an  angelic  figure,  supposedly 
androgynous,  either  pouring  water  from  an  urn  or  carrying  the  vessel  upon  its  shoulder.  Among 
Oriental  peoples,  a  water  vessel  alone  is  often  used.  Edward  Upham,  in  his  History  and  Doctrine  of 
Budhism,  describes  Aquarius  as  being  "in  the  shape  of  a  pot  and  of  a  color  between  blue  and  yellow; 
this  Sign  is  the  single  house  of  Saturn." 

When  Herschel  discovered  the  planet  Uranus  (sometimes  called  by  the  name  of  its  discoverer),  the 
second  half  of  the  sign  of  Aquarius  was  allotted  to  this  added  member  of  the  planetary  family.  The 
water  pouring  from  the  urn  of  Aquarius  under  the  name  of  "the  waters  of  eternal  life"  appears  many 
times  in  symbolism.  So  it  is  with  all  the  signs.  Thus  the  sun  in  its  path  controls  whatever  form  of 
worship  man  offers  to  the  Supreme  Deity. 

There  are  two  distinct  systems  of  astrological  philosophy.  One  of  them,  the  Ptolemaic,  is  geocentric: 
the  earth  is  considered  the  center  of  the  solar  system,  around  which  the  sun,  moon,  and  planets 
revolve.  Astronomically,  the  geocentric  system  is  incorrect;  but  for  thousands  of  years  it  has  proved 
its  accuracy  when  applied  to  the  material  nature  of  earthly  things.  A  careful  consideration  of  the 
writings  of  the  great  occultists  and  a  study  of  their  diagrams  reveal  the  fact  that  many  of  them  were 
acquainted  with  another  method  of  arranging  the  heavenly  bodies. 

The  other  system  of  astrological  philosophy  is  called  the  heliocentric.  This  posits  the  sun  in  the  center 
of  the  solar  system,  where  it  naturally  belongs,  with  the  planets  and  their  moons  revolving  about  it. 
The  great  difficulty,  however,  with  the  heliocentric  system  is  that,  being  comparatively  new,  there  has 
not  been  sufficient  time  to  experiment  successfully  and  catalogue  the  effects  of  its  various  aspects  and 

relationships.  Geocentric  astrology,  as  its  name  implies,  is  confined  to  the  earthy  side  of  nature,  while 
heliocentric  astrology  maybe  used  to  analyze  the  higher  intellectual  and  spiritual  faculties  of  man. 

The  important  point  to  be  remembered  is  that  when  the  sun  was  said  to  be  in  a  certain  sign  of  the 
zodiac,  the  ancients  really  meant  that  the  sun  occupied  the  opposite  sign  and  cast  its  long  ray  into  the 
house  in  which  they  enthroned  it.  Therefore,  when  it  is  said  that  the  sun  is  in  Taurus,  it  means 
(astronomically)  that  the  sun  is  in  the  sign  opposite  to  Taurus,  which  is  Scorpio.  This  resulted  in  two 
distinct  schools  of  philosophy:  one  geocentric  and  exoteric,  the  other  heliocentric  and  esoteric.  While 
the  ignorant  multitudes  worshiped  the  house  of  the  sun's  reflection,  which  in  the  case  described 
would  be  the  Bull,  the  wise  revered  the  house  of  the  sun's  actual  dwelling,  which  would  be  the 
Scorpion,  or  the  Serpent,  the  symbol  of  the  concealed  spiritual  mystery.  This  sign  has  three  different 
symbols.  The  most  common  is  that  of  a  Scorpion,  who  was  called  by  the  ancients  the  backbiter,  being 
the  symbol  of  deceit  and  perversion;  the  second  (and  less  common)  form  of  the  sign  is  a  Serpent, 
often  used  by  the  ancients  to  symbolize  wisdom. 

Probably  the  rarest  form  of  Scorpio  is  that  of  an  Eagle.  The  arrangement  of  the  stars  of  the 
constellation  bears  as  much  resemblance  to  a  flying  bird  as  to  a  scorpion.  Scorpio,  being  the  sign  of 
occult  initiation,  the  flying  eagle—the  king  of  birds—represents  the  highest  and  most  spiritual  type  of 
Scorpio,  in  which  it  transcends  the  venomous  insect  of  the  earth.  As  Scorpio  and  Taurus  are  opposite 
each  other  in  the  zodiac,  their  symbolism  is  often  closely  intermingled.  The  Hon.  E.  M.  Plunket,  in 
Ancient  Calendars  and  Constellations,  says:  "The  Scorpion  (the  constellation  Scorpio  of  the  Zodiac 
opposed  to  Taurus)  joins  with  Mithras  in  his  attack  upon  the  Bull,  and  always  the  genii  of  the  spring 
and  autumn  equinoxes  are  present  in  joyous  and  mournful  attitudes." 

The  Egyptians,  the  Assyrians,  and  the  Babylonians,  who  knew  the  sun  as  a  Bull,  called  the  zodiac  a 
series  of  furrows,  through  which  the  great  celestial  Ox  dragged  the  plow  of  the  sun.  Hence  the 
populace  offered  up  sacrifice  and  led  through  the  streets  magnificent  steers,  bedecked  with  flowers 
and  surrounded  with  priests,  dancing  girls  of  the  temple,  and  musicians.  The  philosophic  elect  did  not 
participate  in  these  idolatrous  ceremonials,  but  advocated  them  as  most  suitable  for  the  types  of  mind 
composing  the  mass  of  the  population.  These  few  possessed  a  far  deeper  understanding,  as  the 
Serpent  of  Scorpio  upon  their  foreheads—the  [7r£Bus— bore  witness. 

The  sun  is  often  symbolized  with  its  rays  in  the  form  of  a  shaggy  mane.  Concerning  the  Masonic 
significance  of  Leo,  Robert  Hewitt  Brown,  32°,  has  written:  "On  the  21st  of  June,  when  the  sun  arrives 
at  the  summer  solstice,  the  constellation  Leo— being  but  30°  in  advance  of  the  sun— appears  to  be 
leading  the  way,  and  to  aid  by  his  powerful  paw  in  lifting  the  sun  up  to  the  summit  of  the  zodiacal 
arch.  *  *  *  This  visible  connection  between  the  constellation  Leo  and  the  return  of  the  sun  to  his  place 
of  power  and  glory,  at  the  summit  of  the  Royal  Arch  of  heaven,  was  the  principal  reason  why  that 
constellation  was  held  in  such  high  esteem  and  reverence  by  the  ancients.  The  astrologers 
distinguished  Leo  as  the  'sole  house  of  the  sun,'  and  taught  that  the  world  was  created  when  the  sun 
was  in  that  sign.  'The  lion  was  adored  in  the  East  and  the  West  by  the  Egyptians  and  the  Mexicans. 
The  chief  Druid  of  Britain  was  styled  a  lion.'"  (Stellar  Theology  and  Masonic  Astronomy.)  When  the 
Aquarian  Age  is  thoroughly  established,  the  sun  will  be  in  Leo,  as  will  be  noted  from  the  explanation 
previously  given  in  this  chapter  regarding  the  distinction  between  geocentric  and  heliocentric 
astrology.  Then,  indeed,  will  the  secret  religions  of  the  world  include  once  more  the  raising  to 
initiation  by  the  Grip  of  the  Lion's  Paw.  (Lazarus  will  come  forth.) 


From  Cole's  Treatise— the  Circular  Zodiac  ofTentyra,  in  Egypt. 

The  oldest  circular  zodiac  known  is  the  one  found  at  Tentyra,  in  Egypt,  and  now  in  the  possession  of  the  French 
government.  Mr.  John  Cole  describes  this  remarkable  zodiac  as  follows:  "The  diameter  of  the  medallion  in  which  the 
constellations  are  sculptured,  is  four  feet  nine  inches,  French  measure.  It  is  surrounded  by  another  circle  of  much  larger 
circumference,  containing  hieroglyphic  characters;  this  second  circle  is  enclosed  in  a  square,  whose  sides  are  seven  feet 
nine  inches  long.  *  *  *  The  asterisms,  constituting  the  Zodiacal  constellations  mixed  with  others,  are  represented  in  a 
spiral.  The  extremities  of  this  spiral,  after  one  revolution,  are  Leo  and  Cancer.  Leo  is  no  doubt  at  the  head.  It  appears  to  be 
trampling  on  a  serpent,  and  its  tail  to  be  held  by  a  woman.  Immediately  after  the  Lion  comes  the  Virgin  holding  an  ear  of 
corn.  Further  on,  we  perceive  two  scales  of  a  balance,  above  which,  in  a  medal  lion,  is  the  figure  of  Harpocrates.  Then 
follows  the  Scorpion  and  Sagittarius,  to  whom  the  Egyptians  gave  wings,  and  two  faces.  After  Sagittarius  are  successively 
placed,  Capricornus,  Aquarius,  Pisces,  the  Ram,  the  Bull,  and  the  Twins.  This  Zodiacal  procession  is,  as  we  have  already 
observed,  terminated  by  Cancer,  the  Crab." 

p-  56 

The  antiquity  of  the  zodiac  is  much  in  dispute.  To  contend  that  it  originated  but  a  mere  few  thousand 
years  before  the  Christian  Era  is  a  colossal  mistake  on  the  part  of  those  who  have  sought  to  compile 
data,  concerning  its  origin.  The  zodiac  necessarily  must  be  ancient  enough  to  go  backward  to  that 
period  when  its  signs  and  symbols  coincided  exactly  with  the  positions  of  the  constellations  whose 
various  creatures  in  their  natural  functions  exemplified  the  outstanding  features  of  the  sun's  activity 
during  each  of  the  twelve  months.  One  author,  after  many  years  of  deep  study  on  the  subject,  believed 
man's  concept  of  the  zodiac  to  be  at  least  five  million  years  old.  In  all  probability  it  is  one  of  the  many 
things  for  which  the  modem  world  is  indebted  to  the  Atlantean  or  the  Lemurian  civilizations.  About 
ten  thousand  years  before  the  Christian  Era  there  was  a  period  of  many  ages  when  knowledge  of  every 
kind  was  suppressed,  tablets  destroyed,  monuments  torn  down,  and  every  vestige  of  available 
material  concerning  previous  civilizations  completely  obliterated.  Only  a  few  copper  knives,  some 
arrowheads,  and  crude  carvings  on  the  walls  of  caves  bear  mute  witness  of  those  civilizations  which 
preceded  this  age  of  destruction.  Here  and  there  a  few  gigantic  structures  have  remained  which,  like 
the  strange  monoliths  on  Easter  Island,  are  evidence  of  lost  arts  and  sciences  and  lost  races.  The 
human  race  is  exceedingly  old.  Modern  science  counts  its  age  in  tens  of  thousands  of  years;  occultism, 
in  tens  of  millions.  There  is  an  old  saying  that  "Mother  Earth  has  shaken  many  civilizations  from  her 

back,"  and  it  is  not  beyond  reason  that  the  principles  of  astrology  and  astronomy  were  evolved 
millions  of  years  before  the  first  white  man  appeared. 

The  occultists  of  the  ancient  world  had  a  most  remarkable  understanding  of  the  principle  of  evolution. 
They  recognized  all  life  as  being  in  various  stages  of  becoming.  They  believed  that  grains  of  sand  were 
in  the  process  of  becoming  human  in  consciousness  but  not  necessarily  in  form;  that  human 
creatures  were  in  the  process  of  becoming  planets;  that  planets  were  in  the  process  of  becoming  solar 
systems;  and  that  solar  systems  were  in  the  process  of  becoming  cosmic  chains;  and  so  on  ad 
infinitum.  One  of  the  stages  between  the  solar  system  and  the  cosmic  chain  was  called  the  zodiac; 
therefore  they  taught  that  at  a  certain  time  a  solar  system  breaks  up  into  a  zodiac.  The  house  of  the 
zodiac  become  the  thrones  for  twelve  Celestial  Hierarchies,  or  as  certain  of  the  ancients  state,  ten 
Divine  Orders.  Pythagoras  taught  that  lo,  or  the  unit  of  the  decimal  system,  was  the  most  perfect  of 
all  numbers,  and  he  symbolized  the  number  ten  by  the  lesser  tetractys,  an  arrangement  of  ten  dots  in 
the  form  of  an  upright  triangle. 

The  early  star  gazers,  after  dividing  the  zodiac  into  its  houses,  appointed  the  three  brightest  scars  in 
each  constellation  to  be  the  joint  rulers  of  that  house.  Then  they  divided  the  house  into  three  sections 
of  ten  degrees  each,  which  they  called  decans.  These,  in  turn,  were  divided  in  half,  resulting  in  the 
breaking  up  of  the  zodiac  into  seventy-two  duodecans  of  five  degrees  each.  Over  each  of  these 
duodecans  the  Hebrews  placed  a  celestial  intelligence,  or  angel,  and  from  this  system,  has  resulted 
the  Qabbalistic  arrangement  of  the  seventy-two  sacred  names,  which  correspond  to  the  seventy-two 
flowers,  knops,  and  almonds  upon  the  seven-branched  Candlestick  of  the  Tabernacle,  and  the 
seventy-two  men  who  were  chosen  from  the  Twelve  Tribes  to  represent  Israel. 

The  only  two  signs  not  already  mentioned  are  Gemini  and  Sagittarius.  The  constellation  of  Gemini  is 
generally  represented  as  two  small  children,  who,  according  to  the  ancients,  were  born  out  of  eggs, 
possibly  the  ones  that  the  Bull  broke  with  his  horns.  The  stories  concerning  Castor  and  Pollux,  and 
Romulus  and  Remus,  may  be  the  result  of  amplifying  the  myths  of  these  celestial  Twins.  The  symbols 
of  Gemini  have  passed  through  many  modifications.  The  one  used  by  the  Arabians  was  the  peacock. 
Two  of  the  important  stars  in  the  constellation  of  Gemini  still  bear  the  names  of  Castor  and  Pollux. 
The  sign  of  Gemini  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  patron  of  phallic  worship,  and  the  two  obelisks,  or 
pillars,  in  front  of  temples  and  churches  convey  the  same  symbolism  as  the  Twins. 

The  sign  of  Sagittarius  consists  of  what  the  ancient  Greeks  called  a  centaur~a  composite  creature,  the 
lower  half  of  whose  body  was  in  the  form  of  a  horse,  while  the  upper  half  was  human.  The  centaur  is 
generally  shown  with  a  bow  and  arrow  in  his  hands,  aiming  a  shaft  far  off  into  the  stars.  Hence 
Sagittarius  stands  for  two  distinct  principles:  first,  it  represents  the  spiritual  evolution  of  man,  for  the 
human  form  is  rising  from  the  body  of  the  beast;  secondly,  it  is  the  symbol  of  aspiration  and  ambition, 
for  as  the  centaur  aims  his  arrow  at  the  stars,  so  every  human  creature  aims  at  a  higher  mark  than  he 
can  reach. 

Albert  Churchward,  in  The  Signs  and  Symbols  of  Primordial  Man,  sums  up  the  influence  of  the 
zodiac  upon  religious  symbolism  in  the  following  words:  "The  division  here  [is]  in  twelve  parts,  the 
twelve  signs  of  the  Zodiac,  twelve  tribes  of  Israel,  twelve  gates  of  heaven  mentioned  in  Revelation, 
and  twelve  entrances  or  portals  to  be  passed  through  in  the  Great  Pyramid,  before  finally  reaching  the 
highest  degree,  and  twelve  Apostles  in  the  Christian  doctrines,  and  the  twelve  original  and  perfect 
points  in  Masonry." 

The  ancients  believed  that  the  theory  of  man's  being  made  in  the  image  of  God  was  to  be  understood 
literally.  They  maintained  that  the  universe  was  a  great  organism  not  unlike  the  human  body,  and 
that  every  phase  and  function  of  the  Universal  Body  had  a  correspondence  in  man.  The  most  precious 
Key  to  Wisdom  that  the  priests  communicated  to  the  new  initiates  was  what  they  termed  the  law  of 

analogy.  Therefore,  to  the  ancients,  the  study  of  the  stars  was  a  sacred  science,  for  they  saw  in  the 
movements  of  the  celestial  bodies  the  ever-present  activity  of  the  Infinite  Father. 

The  Pythagoreans  were  often  undeservedly  criticized  for  promulgating  the  so-called  doctrine  of 
metempsychosis,  or  the  transmigration  of  souls.  This  concept  as  circulated  among  the  uninitiated  was 
merely  a  blind,  however,  to  conceal  a  sacred  truth.  Greek  mystics  believed  that  the  spiritual  nature  of 
man  descended  into  material  existence  from  the  Milky  Way— the  seed  ground  of  souls—through  one  of 
the  twelve  gates  of  the  great  zodiacal  band.  The  spiritual  nature  was  therefore  said  to  incarnate  in  the 
form  of  the  symbolic  creature  created  by  Magian  star  gazers  to  represent  the  various  zodiacal 
constellations.  If  the  spirit  incarnated  through  the  sign  of  Aries,  it  was  said  to  be  born  in  the  body  of  a 
ram;  if  in  Taurus,  in  the  body  of  the  celestial  bull.  All  human  beings  were  thus  symbolized  by  twelve 
mysterious  creatures  through  the  natures  of  which  they  were  able  to  incarnate  into  the  material  world. 
The  theory  of  transmigration  was  not  applicable  to  the  visible  material  body  of  man,  but  rather  to  the 
invisible  immaterial  spirit  wandering  along  the  pathway  of  the  stars  and  sequentially  assuming  in  the 
course  of  evolution  the  forms  of  the  sacred  zodiacal  animals. 

In  the  Third  Book  of  the  Mathesis  of  Julius  Firmicus  Maternus  appears  the  following  extract 
concerning  the  positions  of  the  heavenly  bodies  at  the  time  of  the  establishment  of  the  inferior 
universe:  "According  to  ^Esculapius,  therefore,  and  Anubius,  to  whom  especially  the  divinity  Mercury 
committed  the  secrets  of  the  astrological  science,  the  geniture  of  the  world  is  as  follows:  They 
constituted  the  Sun  in  the  15th  part  of  Leo,  the  Moon  in  the  15th  part  of  Cancer,  Saturn  in  the  15th 
part  of  Capricorn,  Jupiter  in  the  15th  part  of  Sagittary,  Mars  in  the  15th  part  of  Scorpio,  Venus  in  the 
15th  part  of  Libra,  Mercury  in  the  15th  part  of  Virgo,  and  the  Horoscope  in  the  15th  part  of  Cancer. 
Conformably  to  this  geniture,  therefore,  to  these  conditions  of  the  stars,  and  the  testimonies  which 
they  adduce  in  confirmation  of  this  geniture,  they  are  of  opinion  that  the  destinies  of  men,  also,  are 
disposed  in  accordance  with  the  above  arrangement,  as  maybe  learnt  from  that  book  of  ^Esculapius 
which  is  called  Mupioysveoig,  (i.e.  Ten  Thousand,  or  an  innumerable  multitude  of  Genitures)  in  order 
that  nothing  in  the  several  genitures  of  men  may  be  found  to  be  discordant  with  the  above-mentioned 
geniture  of  the  world."  The  seven  ages  of  man  are  under  the  control  of  the  planets  in  the  following 
order:  infancy,  the  moon;  childhood.  Mercury;  adolescence,  Venus;  maturity,  the  sun;  middle  age. 
Mars;  advanced  age,  Jupiter;  and  decrepitude  and  dissolution,  Saturn. 


From  Kircher's  CEdipus  j^gyptiacus. 

The  inner  circle  contains  the  hieroglyph  of  Hemphta,  the  triform  and  pantamorphic  deity.  In  the  six  concentric  bands 
surrounding  the  inner  circle  are  (from  within  outward):  (i)  the  numbers  of  the  zodiacal  houses  in  figures  and  also  in 
words;  (2)  the  modern  names  of  the  houses.(3)  the  Greek  or  the  Egyptian  names  of  the  Egyptian  deities  assigned  to  the 
houses;  (4)  the  complete  figures  of  these  deities;  (5)  the  ancient  or  the  modem  zodiacal  signs,  sometimes  both;  (6)  the 
number  of  decans  or  subdivisions  of  the  houses. 

p-  57 

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Concerning  the  theurgic  or  magic  sense  in  which  the  Egyptian  priests  exhibited  in  the  Bembine  Table  of  Isis  the  philosophy  of  sacrifice,  rites,  and  ceremonies 

system  of  occult  symbols,  Athanasius  Kircher  writes: 

"The  early  priests  believed  that  a  great  spiritual  power  was  invoked  by  correct  and  unabridged  sacrificial  ceremonies.  If 
one  feature  were  lacking,  the  whole  was  vitiated,  says  lamblichus.  Hence  they  were  most  careful  in  all  details,  for  they 
considered  it  absolutely  essential  for  the  entire  chain  of  logical  connections  to  be  exactly  according  to  ritual.  Certainly  for 
no  other  reason  did  they  prepare  and  prescribe  for  future  use  the  manuals,  as  it  were,  for  conducting  the  rites.  They 
learned,  too,  what  the  first  hieromancers—possessed,  as  it  were,  by  a  divine  fury—devised  as  a  system  of  symbolism  for 
exhibiting  their  mysteries.  These  they  placed  in  this  Tablet  of  Isis,  before  the  eyes  of  those  admitted  to  the  sanctum 
sanctorum  in  order  to  teach  the  nature  of  the  Gods  and  the  prescribed  forms  of  sacrifice.  Since  each  of  the  orders  of  Gods 
had  its  own  peculiar  symbols,  gestures,  costumes,  and  ornaments,  they  thought  it  necessary  to  observe  these  in  the  whole 
apparatus  of  worship,  as  nothing  was  more  efficacious  in  drawing  the  benign  attention  of  the  deities  and  genii.  *  *  *  Thus 
their  temples,  remote  from  the  usual  haunts  of  men,  contained  representations  of  nearly  every  form  in  nature.  First,  in  the 
pavement,  they  symbolized  the  physical  economy  of  the  world,  using  minerals,  stones  and  other  things  suitable  for 
ornaments,  including  little  streams  of  water.  The  walls  showed  the  starry  world,  and  the  done  the  world  of  genii.  In  the 
center  was  the  altar,  to  suggest  the  emanations  of  the  Supreme  Mind  from  its  center.  Thus  the  entire  interior  constituted  a 
picture  of  the  Universe  of  Worlds.  The  priests  in  making  sacrifices  wore  raiment  adorned  with  figures  similar  to  those 
attributed  to  the  Gods.  Their  bodies  were  partially  bare  like  those  of  the  deities,  and  they  themselves  were  divested  of  all 
material  cares  and  practices  the  strictest  chastity.  *  *  *  Their  heads  were  veiled  to  indicate  their  charge  of  earthly  things. 
Their  heads  and  bodies  were  shaved,  for  they  regarded  hair  as  a  useless  excrescence.  Upon  the  head  they  bore  the  same 
insignia  as  those  attributed  to  the  Gods.  Thus  arrayed,  they  regarded  themselves  to  be  transformed  into  that  intelligence 
with  which  they  constantly  desired  to  be  identified.  For  example,  in  order  to  call  down  to  the  world  the  soul  and  spirit  of 
the  Universe,  they  stood  before  the  image  shown  in  the  center  of  our  Tablet,  wearing  the  same  symbols  as  that  figure  and 
its  attendants,  and  offered  sacrifices.  By  these  and  the  accompanying  singing  of  hymns  they  believed  that  they  infallibly 
drew  the  God's  attention  to  their  prayer.  And  so  they  did  in  regard  to  other  regions  of  the  Tablet,  believing  of  necessity  the 
proper  ritual  properly  carried  out  would  evoke  the  deity  desired.  That  this  was  the  origin  of  the  science  of  oracles  is 
apparent.  As  a  touched  chord  produces  a  harmony  of  sound,  likewise  the  adjoining  chords  respond  though  not  touched. 
Similarly  the  idea  they  expressed  by  their  concurrent  acts  while  adoring  the  God  came  into  accord  with  basic  Idea  and,  by 
an  intellectual  union,  it  was  returned  to  them  deiformed,  and  they  thus  obtained  the  Idea  of  Ideas.  Hence  there  sprang  up 
in  their  souls,  they  thought,  the  gift  of  prophecy  and  divination,  and  they  believed  they  could  foretell  future  events, 
impending  evils,  etc.  For  as  in  the  Supreme  Mind  everj^hing  is  simultaneous  and  spaceless,  the  future  is  therefore  present 
in  that  Mind;  and  they  thought  that  while  the  human  mind  was  absorbed  in  the  Supreme  by  contemplation,  by  that  union 
they  were  enabled  to  know  all  the  future.  Nearly  all  that  is  represented  in  our  Tablet  consists  of  amulets  which,  by  analogy 
above  described,  would  inspire  them,  under  the  described  conditions,  with  the  virtues  of  the  Supreme  Power  and  enable 
them  to  receive  good  and  avert  evil.  They  also  believed  they  could  in  this  magical  manner  effect  cures  of  diseases;  that 
genii  could  be  induced  to  appear  to  them  during  sleep  and  cure  or  teach  them  to  cure  the  sick.  In  this  belief  they  consulted 
the  Gods  about  all  sort  of  doubts  and  difficulties,  while  adorned  with  the  simulacra  of  the  mystic  rite  and  intently 
contemplating  the  Divine  Ideas;  and  while  so  enraptured  they  believed  the  God  by  some  sign,  nod  or  gesture 
communicated  with  them,  whether  asleep  or  awake,  concerning  the  truth  or  falsity  of  the  matter  in  point."  (See  CEdipus 

The  Bembine  Table  of  Isis 

A  MANUSCRIPT  by  Thomas  Taylor  contains  the  following  remarkable  paragraph: 

"Plato  was  initiated  into  the  'Greater  Mysteries'  at  the  age  of  49.  The  initiation  took  place  in  one  of  the 
subterranean  halls  of  the  Great  Pyramid  in  Egypt.  The  ISIAC  TABLE  formed  the  altar,  before  which 
the  Divine  Plato  stood  and  received  that  which  was  always  his,  but  which  the  ceremony  of  the 
Mysteries  enkindled  and  brought  from  its  dormant  state.  With  this  ascent,  after  three  days  in  the 
Great  Hall,  he  was  received  by  the  Hierophant  of  the  Pyramid  (the  Hierophant  was  seen  only  by  those 
who  had  passed  the  three  days,  the  three  degrees,  the  three  dimensions)  and  given  verbally  the 
Highest  Esoteric  Teachings,  each  accompanied  with  Its  appropriate  Symbol.  After  a  further  three 
months'  sojourn  in  the  halls  of  the  Pyramid,  the  Initiate  Plato  was  sent  out  into  the  world  to  do  the 
work  of  the  Great  Order,  as  Pj^hagoras  and  Orpheus  had  been  before  him." 

Before  the  sacking  of  Rome  in  1527  there  is  no  historical  mention  of  the  Mensa  Isiaca,  (Tablet  of  Isis). 
At  that  time  the  Tablet  came  into  the  possession  of  a  certain  locksmith  or  ironworker,  who  sold  it  at 
an  exorbitant  price  to  Cardinal  Bembo,  a  celebrated  antiquary,  historiographer  of  the  Republic  of 
Venice,  and  afterwards  librarian  of  St.  Mark's.  After  his  death  in  1547  the  Isiac  Tablet  was  acquired  by 
the  House  of  Mantua,  in  whose  museum  it  remained  until  1630,  when  troops  of  Ferdinand  II 
captured  the  city  of  Mantua.  Several  early  writers  on  the  subject  have  assumed  that  the  Tablet  was 
demolished  by  the  ignorant  soldiery  for  the  silver  it  contained.  The  assumption,  however,  was 
erroneous.  The  Tablet  fell  into  the  hands  of  Cardinal  Pava,  who  presented  it  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy, 
who  in  turn  presented  it  to  the  King  of  Sardinia.  When  the  French  conquered  Italy  in  1797  the  Tablet 
was  carried  to  Paris.  In  1809,  Alexandre  Lenoir,  writing  of  the  Mensa  Isiaca,  said  it  was  on  exhibition 
at  the  Bibliotheque  Nationale.  Upon  the  establishment  of  peace  between  the  two  countries  it  was 
returned  to  Italy.  In  his  Guide  to  Northern  Italy,  Karl  Baedeker  describes  the  Mensa  Isiaca  as  being 
in  the  center  of  Gallery  2  in  the  Museum  of  Antiquities  at  Turin. 

A  faithful  reproduction  of  the  original  Tablet  was  made  in  1559  by  the  celebrated  JEneas  Vicus  of 
Parma,  and  a  copy  of  the  engraving  was  given  by  the  Chancellor  of  the  Duke  of  Bavaria  to  the 
Museum  of  Hieroglyphics.  Athanasius  Kircher  describes  the  Tablet  as  "five  palms  long  and  four 
wide."  W.  Wynn  Westcott  says  it  measures  50  by  30  inches.  It  was  made  of  bronze  and  decorated  with 
encaustic  or  smalt  enamel  and  silver  inlay.  Fosbroke  adds:  "The  figures  are  cut  very  shallow,  and  the 
contour  of  most  of  them  is  encircled  by  threads  of  silver.  The  bases  upon  which  the  figures  were 
seated  or  reclined,  and  left  blank  in  the  prints,  were  of  silver  and  are  torn  away."  (See  Encyclopaedia 
of  Antiquities.) 

Those  familiar  with  the  fundamental  principles  of  Hermetic  philosophy  will  recognize  in  the  Mensa 
Isiaca  the  key  to  Chaldean,  Egyptian,  and  Greek  theology.  In  his  Antiquities,  the  learned  Benedictine, 
Father  Montfaucon,  admits  his  inability  to  cope  with  the  intricacies  of  its  symbolism.  He  therefore 
doubts  that  the  emblems  upon  the  Tablet  possess  any  significance  worthy  of  consideration  and 
ridicules  Kircher,  declaring  him  to  be  more  obscure  than  the  Tablet  itself.  Laurentius  Pignorius 
reproduced  the  Tablet  in  connection  with  a  descriptive  essay  in  1605,  but  his  timidly  advanced 
explanations  demonstrated  his  ignorance  concerning  the  actual  interpretation  of  the  figures. 

In  his  CEdipus Mgyptiacus,  published  in  1654,  Kircher  attacked  the  problem  with  characteristic 
avidity.  Being  peculiarly  qualified  for  such  a  task  by  years  of  research  in  matters  pertaining  to  the 
secret  doctrines  of  antiquity,  and  with  the  assistance  of  a  group  of  eminent  scholars,  Kircher 
accomplished  much  towards  an  exposition  of  the  mysteries  of  the  Tablet.  The  master  secret,  however, 
eluded  even  him,  as  Eliphas  Levi  has  shrewdly  noted  in  his  History  of  Magic. 

"The  learned  Jesuit,  "  writes  Levi,  "divined  that  it  contained  the  hieroglyphic  key  to  sacred  alphabets, 
though  he  was  unable  to  develop  the  explanation.  It  is  divided  into  three  equal  compartments;  above 
are  the  twelve  houses  of  heaven  and  below  are  the  corresponding  distributions  of  labor  [work  periods] 
throughout  the  year,  while  in  the  middle  place  are  twenty-one  sacred  signs  answering  to  the  letters  of 
the  alphabet.  In  the  midst  of  all  is  a  seated  figure  of  the  pantomorphic  lYNX,  emblem  of  universal 
being  and  corresponding  as  such  to  the  Hebrew  Yod,  or  to  that  unique  letter  from  which  all  the  other 
letters  were  formed.  The  lYNX  is  encircled  by  the  Ophite  triad,  answering  to  the  Three  Mother  Letters 
of  the  Egyptian  and  Hebrew  alphabets.  On  the  right  are  the  Ibimorphic  and  Serapian  triads;  on  the 
left  are  those  of  Nepthys  and  Hecate,  representing  active  and  passive,  fixed  and  volatile,  fructifying 
fire  and  generating  water.  Each  pair  of  triads  in  conjunction  with  the  center  produces  a  septenary, 
and  a  septenary  is  contained  in  the  center.  The  three  septenaries  furnish  the  absolute  number  of  the 
three  worlds,  as  well  as  the  complete  number  of  primitive  letters,  to  which  a  complementary  sign  is 
added,  like  zero  to  the  nine  numerals." 

Levi's  hint  may  be  construed  to  mean  that  the  twenty-one  figures  in  the  center  section  of  the  Table 
represent  the  twenty-one  major  trumps  of  the  Tarot  cards.  If  this  be  so,  is  not  the  zero  card,  cause  of 
so  much  controversy,  the  nameless  crown  of  the  Supreme  Mind,  the  crown  being  symbolized  by  the 
hidden  triad  in  the  upper  part  of  the  throne  in  the  center  of  the  Table?  Might  not  the  first  emanation 
of  this  Supreme  Mind  be  well  symbolized  by  a  juggler  or  magician  with  the  symbols  of  the  four  lower 
worlds  spread  out  on  a  table  before  him:  the  rod,  the  sword,  the  cup,  and  the  coin?  Thus  considered, 
the  zero  card  belongs  nowhere  among  the  others  but  is  in  fact  the  fourth  dimensional  point  from 
which  they  all  emanated  and  consequently  is  broken  up  into  the  twenty-one  cards  (letters)  which, 
when  gathered  together,  produce  the  zero.  The  cipher  appearing  upon  this  card  would  substantiate 
this  interpretation,  for  the  cipher,  or  circle,  is  emblematic  of  the  superior  sphere  from  which  issue  the 
lower  worlds,  powers,  and  letters. 

Westcott  carefully  collected  the  all  too  meager  theories  advanced  by  various  authorities  and  in  1887 
published  his  now  extremely  rare  volume,  which  contains  the  only  detailed  description  of  the  Isiac 
Tablet  published  in  English  since  Humphreys  translated  Montfaucon's  worthless  description  in  1721. 
After  explaining  his  reticence  to  reveal  that  which  Levi  evidently  felt  was  better  left  concealed, 
Westcott  sums  up  his  interpretation  of  the  Tablet  as  follows: 

"The  diagram  of  Levi,  by  which  he  explains  the  mystery  of  the  Tablet,  shows  the  Upper  Region 
divided  into  the  four  seasons  of  the  year,  each  with  three  signs  of  the  Zodiac,  and  he  has  added  the 
four-lettered  sacred  name,  the  Tetragrammaton,  assigning  Jod  to  Aquarius,  that  is  Canopus,  He  to 
Taurus,  that  is  Apis,  Vau  to  Leo,  that  is  Momphta,  and  He  final  to  Typhon.  Note  the  Cherubic  parallel- 
-Man,  Bull,  Lion  and  Eagle.  The  fourth  form  is  found  either  as  Scorpion  or  Eagle  depending  upon  the 
Occult  good  or  evil  intention:  in  the  Demotic  Zodiac,  the  Snake  replaces  the  Scorpion. 

"The  Lower  Region  he  ascribes  to  the  twelve  simple  Hebrew  letters,  associating  them  with  the  four 
quarters  of  the  horizon.  Compare  the  Sepher  Yerzirah,  Cap.  v.,  sec.  1. 

"The  Central  Region  he  ascribes  to  the  Solar  powers  and  the 


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From  Levi's  History  of  Magic. 

"The  Isiac  Tablet,  writes  Levi,  is  a  Key  to  the  Ancient  Book  of  Thoth,  which  has  survived  to  some  extent  the  lapse  of 
centuries  and  is  pictured  to  us  in  the  still  comparatively  ancient  set  of  Tarocchi  Cards.  To  him  the  Book  of  Thoth  was  a 
resume  of  the  esoteric  learning  of  the  Egyptians,  after  the  decadence  of  their  civilization,  this  lore  became  crystallized  in  a 
hieroglyphic  form  as  the  Tarot;  this  Tarot  having  become  partially  or  entirely  forgotten  or  misunderstood,  its  pictured 
symbols  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  sham  diviners,  and  of  the  providers  of  the  public  amusement  by  games  of  Cards.  The 
modem  Tarot,  or  Tarocchi  pack  of  cards  consists  of  78  cards,  of  which  22  form  a  special  group  of  trumps,  of  pictorial 
design:  the  remaining  56  are  composed  of  four  suits  of  10  numerals  and  four  court  cards.  King,  Queen,  Knight,  and  Knave 
or  Valet;  the  suits  are  Swords  (Militaryism),  Cups  (Sacerdocy),  Clubs  or  Wands  (Agriculture),  and  Shekels  or  Coins 
(Commerce),  answering  respectively  to  our  Spades,  Hearts,  Clubs  and  Diamonds.  Our  purpose  is  with  the  22  trumps, 
these  form  the  special  characteristic  of  the  Pack  and  are  the  lineal  descendants  of  the  Hieroglyphics  of  the  Tarot.  These  22 
respond  to  the  letters  of  the  Hebrew  and  other  sacred  alphabets,  which  fall  naturally  into  three  classes  of  a  Trio  of 
Mothers,  a  Heptad  of  doubles,  and  a  duodecad  of  simple  letters.  They  are  also  considered  as  a  triad  of  Heptads  and  one 
apart,  a  system  of  Initiation  and  an  Uninitiate."  (See  Westcott's  The  Isiac  Tablet.) 

p.  58 

Planetary.  In  the  middle  we  see  above,  the  Sun,  marked  Ops,  and  below  it  is  a  Solomon's  Seal,  above  a 
cross;  a  double  triangle  Hexapla,  one  light  and  one  dark  triangle  superposed,  the  whole  forming  a  sort 
of  complex  symbol  of  Venus.  To  the  Ibimorphos  he  gives  the  three  dark  planets,  Venus,  Mercury,  and 
Mars  placed  around  a  dark  triangle  erect,  denoting  Fire.  To  the  Nephthsean  triad  he  gives  three  light 
planets,  Saturn,  Luna,  and  Jupiter,  around  a  light  inverted  triangle  which  denotes  Water.  There  is  a 
necessary  connection  between  water,  female  power,  passive  principle,  Binah,  and  Sephirotic  Mother, 
and  Bride.  (See  the  Kabbalah  by  Mathers.)  Note  the  ancient  signs  for  the  planets  were  all  composed 
of  a  Cross,  Solar  Disc  and  Crescent:  Venus  is  a  cross  below  a  Sun  disc,  Mercury,  a  disc  With  a  crescent 
above  and  cross  below,  Saturn  is  a  Cross  whose  lowest  point  touches  the  apex  of  the  crescent;  Jupiter 
is  a  Crescent  whose  lowest  point  touches  the  left  hand  end  of  a  cross:  all  these  are  deep  mysteries. 
Note  that  Levi  in  his  original  plate  transposed  Serapis  and  Hecate,  but  not  the  Apis  noir  and  Apis 
blanc,  perhaps  because  of  the  head  of  Bes  being  associated  by  him  with  Hecate.  Note  that  having 
referred  the  12  simple  letters  to  the  lower,  the  7  double  must  correspond  to  the  central  region  of  the 
planets,  and  then  the  great  triad  A.M.S.  the  mother  letters  representing  Air,  Water,  and  Fire  remain 
to  be  pictured,  around  S  the  Central  lynx,  or  Yod,  by  the  Ophionian  Triad  the  two  Serpents  and  the 
Leonine  Sphynx.  Levi's  word  OPS  in  the  centre  is  the  Latin  Ops,  Terra,  genius  of  the  Earth;  and  the 
Greek  Ops,  Rhea,  or  Kubele  (Cybele)  often  drawn  as  a  goddess  seated  in  a  chariot  drawn  by  lions;  she 
is  crowned  with  turrets,  and  holds  a  Key."  (See  The  Isiac  Tablet.) 

The  essay  published  in  French  by  Alexandre  Lenoir  in  1809,  while  curious  and  original,  contains  little 
real  information  on  the  Tablet,  which  the  author  seeks  to  prove  was  an  Egyptian  calendar  or 
astrological  chart.  As  both  Montfaucon  and  Lenoir~in  fact  all  writers  on  the  subject  since  i65i~either 
have  based  their  work  upon  that  of  Kircher  or  have  been  influenced  considerably  by  him,  a  careful 
translation  has  been  made  of  the  latter's  original  article  (eighty  pages  of  seventeenth  century  Latin). 
The  double-page  plate  at  the  beginning  of  this  chapter  is  a  faithful  reproduction  made  by  Kircher 
from  the  engraving  in  the  Museum  of  Hieroglyphics.  The  small  letters  and  numbers  used  to  designate 
the  figures  were  added  by  him  to  clarify  his  commentary  and  will  be  used  for  the  same  purpose  in  this 

Like  nearly  all  religious  and  philosophical  antiquities,  the  Bembine  Table  of  Isis  has  been  the  subject 
of  much  controversy.  In  a  footnote,  A.  E.  Waite—unable  to  differentiate  between  the  true  and  the 
purported  nature  or  origin  of  the  Tablet—echoes  the  sentiments  of  J.G.  Wilkinson,  another  eminent 
exotericus:  "The  original  [Table]  is  exceedingly  late  and  is  roughly  termed  a  forgery."  On  the  other 
hand,  Eduard  Winkelmann,  a  man  of  profound  learning,  defends  the  genuineness  and  antiquity  of  the 
Tablet.  A  sincere  consideration  of  the  Mensa  Isiaca  discloses  one  fact  of  paramount  importance:  that 
although  whoever  fashioned  the  Table  was  not  necessarily  an  Egyptian,  he  was  an  initiate  of  the 
highest  order,  conversant  with  the  most  arcane  tenets  of  Hermetic  esotericism. 


The  following  necessarily  brief  elucidation  of  the  Bembine  Table  is  based  upon  a  digest  of  the  writings 
of  Kircher  supplemented  by  other  information  gleaned  by  the  present  author  from  the  mystical 
writings  of  the  Chaldeans,  Hebrews,  Egyptians,  and  Greeks.  The  temples  of  the  Egyptians  were  so 
designed  that  the  arrangement  of  chambers,  decorations,  and  utensils  was  all  of  symbolic  significance, 
as  shown  by  the  hieroglyphics  that  covered  them.  Beside  the  altar,  which  usually  was  in  the  center  of 
each  room,  was  the  cistern  of  Nile  water  which  flowed  in  and  out  through  unseen  pipes.  Here  also 
were  images  of  the  gods  in  concatenated  series,  accompanied  by  magical  inscriptions.  In  these 
temples,  by  use  of  symbols  and  hieroglyphics,  neophytes  were  instructed  in  the  secrets  of  the 
sacerdotal  caste. 

The  Tablet  of  Isis  was  originally  a  table  or  altar,  and  its  emblems  were  part  of  the  mysteries  explained 
by  priests.  Tables  were  dedicated  to  the  various  gods  and  goddesses;  in  this  case  Isis  was  so  honored. 
The  substances  from  which  the  tables  were  made  differed  according  to  the  relative  dignities  of  the 
deities.  The  tables  consecrated  to  Jupiter  and  Apollo  were  of  gold;  those  to  Diana,  Venus,  and  Juno 
were  of  silver;  those  to  the  other  superior  gods,  of  marble;  those  to  the  lesser  divinities,  of  wood. 
Tables  were  also  made  of  metals  corresponding  to  the  planets  governed  by  the  various  celestials.  As 
food  for  the  body  is  spread  on  a  banquet  table,  so  on  these  sacred  altars  were  spread  the  symbols 
which,  when  understood,  feed  the  invisible  nature  of  man. 

In  his  introduction  to  the  Table,  Kircher  summarizes  its  symbolism  thus:  "It  teaches,  in  the  first  place, 
the  whole  constitution  of  the  threefold  world—archetypal,  intellectual,  and  sensible.  The  Supreme 
Divinity  is  shown  moving  from  the  center  to  the  circumference  of  a  universe  made  up  of  both  sensible 
and  inanimate  things,  all  of  which  are  animated  and  agitated  by  the  one  supreme  power  which  they 
call  the  Father  Mind  and  represented  by  a  threefold  symbol.  Here  also  are  shown  three  triads  from 
the  Supreme  One,  each  manifesting  one  attribute  of  the  first  Trimurti.  These  triads  are  called  the 
Foundation,  or  the  base  of  all  things.  In  the  Table  is  also  set  forth  the  arrangement  and  distribution  of 
those  divine  creatures  that  aid  the  Father  Mind  in  the  control  of  the  universe.  Here  [in  the  upper 
panel]  are  to  be  seen  the  Governors  of  the  worlds,  each  with  its  fiery,  ethereal,  and  material  insignia. 
Here  also  [in  the  lower  panel]  are  the  Fathers  of  Fountains,  whose  duty  it  is  to  care  for  and  preserve 
the  principles  of  all  things  and  sustain  the  inviolable  laws  of  Nature.  Here  are  the  gods  of  the  spheres 
and  also  those  who  wander  from  place  to  place,  laboring  with  all  substances  and  forms  (Zonia  and 
Azonia),  grouped  together  as  figures  of  both  sexes,  with  their  faces  turned  to  their  superior  deity." 

The  Mensa  Isiaca,  which  is  divided  horizontally  into  three  chambers  or  panels,  may  represent  the 
ground  plan  of  the  chambers  in  which  the  Isiac  Mysteries  were  given.  The  center  panel  is  divided  into 
seven  parts  or  lesser  rooms,  and  the  lower  has  two  gates,  one  at  each  end.  The  entire  Table  contains 
forty-five  figures  of  first  importance  and  a  number  of  lesser  symbols.  The  forty-five  main  figures  are 
grouped  into  fifteen  triads,  of  which  four  are  in  the  upper  panel,  seven  in  the  central,  and  four  in  the 
lower.  According  to  both  Kircher  and  Levi,  the  triads  are  divided  in  the  following  manner: 

In  the  upper  section 

1.  P,  S,  V~Mendesian  Triad. 

2.  X,  Z,  A~Ammonian  Triad. 

3.  B,  C,  D~Momphtaean  Triad. 

4.  F,  G,  H-Omphtsean  Triad. 
In  the  center  section 

1.  G,  I,  K~Isiac  Triad. 

2.  L,  M,  N~Hecatine  Triad. 

3.  O,  Q,  R~Ibimorphous  Triad. 

4.  V,  S,  W~Ophionic  Triad. 

5.  X,  Y,  Z~Nephtaean  Triad. 

6.  4  ri,  9~Serapsean  Triad. 

7.  Y,  8  (not  shown),  e—Osirian  Triad. 
In  the  lower  section 

1.  X,  M,  N~Horaean  Triad. 

2.  ^,  0, 2~Pandoch£ean  Triad. 

3.  T,  O,  X-Thaustic  Triad. 

4.  W,  F,  H~7Eluristic  Triad. 

Of  these  fifteen  triads  Kircher  writes:  "The  figures  differ  from  each  other  in  eight  highly  important 
respects,  i.  e.,  according  to  form,  position,  gesture,  act,  raiment,  headdress,  staff,  and,  lastly, 
according  to  the  hieroglyphics  placed  around  them,  whether  these  be  flowers,  shrubs,  small  letters  or 
animals."  These  eight  symbolic  methods  of  portraying  the  secret  powers  of  the  figures  are  subtle 
reminders  of  the  eight  spiritual  senses  of  cognition  by  means  of  which  the  Real  Self  in  man  may  be 
comprehended.  To  express  this  spiritual  truth  the  Buddhists  used  the  wheel  with  eight  spokes  and 
raised  their  consciousness  by  means  of  the  noble  eightfold  path.  The  ornamented  border  enclosing 
the  three  main  panels  of  the  Table  contains  many  symbols  consisting  of  birds,  animals,  reptiles, 
human  beings,  and  composite  forms.  According  to  one  reading  of  the  Table,  this  border  represents 

the  four  elements;  the  creatures  are  elemental  beings.  According  to  another  interpretation,  the  border 

represents  the  archetypal  spheres,  and  in  its  frieze  of  composite  figures  are  the  patterns  of  those 
forms  which  in  various  combinations  will  subsequently  manifest  themselves  in  the  material  world. 
The  four  flowers  at  the  corners  of  the  Table  are  those  which,  because  their  blossoms  always  face  the 
sun  and  follow  its  course  across  the  sky,  are  sacred  emblems  of  that  finer  part  of  man's  nature  which 
delights  in  facing  its  Creator. 

According  to  the  secret  doctrine  of  the  Chaldeans,  the  universe  is  divided  into  four  states  of  being 
(planes  or  spheres):  archetypal,  intellectual,  sidereal,  and  elemental.  Each  of  these  reveals  the  others; 
the  superior  controlling  the  inferior,  and  the  inferior  receiving  influence  from  the  superior.  The 
archetypal  plane  was  considered  synonymous  with  the  intellect  of  the  Triune  Divinity.  Within  this 
divine,  incorporeal,  and  eternal  sphere  are  included  all  the  lower  manifestations  of  life-all  that  is,  has 
been,  or  ever  shall  be.  Within  the  Kosmic  Intellect  all  things  spiritual  or  material  exist  as  archetypes, 
or  divine  thought-forms,  which  is  shown  in  the  Table  by  a  chain  of  secret  similes. 

In  the  middle  region  of  the  Table  appears  the  all-form-containing  personified  Spiritual  Essence—the 
source  and  substance  of  all  things.  From  this  proceed  the  lower  worlds  as  nine  emanations  in  groups 
of  three  (the  Ophionic,  Ibimorphous,  and  Nephtsean  Triads).  Consider  in  this  connection  the  analogy 
of  the  Qabbalistic  Sephiroth,  or  the  nine  spheres  issuing  from  Kether,  the  Crown.  The  twelve 
Governors  of  the  Universe  (the  Mendesian,  Ammonian,  Momphtsean,  and  Omphteean  Triads)-- 
vehicles  for  the  distribution  of  the  creative  influences,  and  shown  in  the  upper  region  of  the  Table-are 
directed  in  their  activities  by  the  Divine  Mind  patterns  existing  in  the  archetypal  sphere,  The 
archetypes  are  abstract  patterns  formulated  in  the  Divine  Mind  and  by  them  all  the  inferior  activities 
are  controlled. 

P-  59 

In  the  lower  region  of  the  Table  are  the  Father  Fountains  (the  Horeean,  Pandochsean,  Thaustic,  and 
iEluristic  Triads),  keepers  of  the  great  gates  of  the  universe.  These  distribute  to  the  lower  worlds  the 
influences  descending  from  the  Governors  shown  above. 

In  the  theology  of  the  Egyptians,  goodness  takes  precedence  and  all  things  partake  of  its  nature  to  a 
higher  or  lower  degree.  Goodness  is  sought  by  all.  It  is  the  Prime  Cause  of  causes.  Goodness  is  self- 
diffused  and  hence  exists  in  all  things,  for  nothing  can  produce  that  which  it  does  not  have  in  itself. 
The  Table  demonstrates  that  all  is  in  God  and  God  is  in  all;  that  all  is  in  all  and  each  is  in  each.  In  the 
intellectual  world  are  invisible  spiritual  counterparts  of  the  creatures  which  inhabit  the  elemental 
world.  Therefore,  the  lowest  exhibits  the  highest,  the  corporeal  declares  the  intellectual,  and  the 
invisible  i,.  made  manifest  by  its  works.  For  this  reason  the  Egyptians  made  images  of  substances 
existing  in  the  inferior  sensible  world  to  serve  as  visible  exemplars  of  superior  and  invisible  powers. 
To  the  corruptible  images  they  assigned  the  virtues  of  the  incorruptible  divinities,  thus  demonstrating 
arcanely  that  this  world  is  but  the  shadow  of  God,  the  outward  picture  of  the  paradise  within.  All  that 
is  in  the  invisible  archetypal  sphere  is  revealed  in  the  sensible  corporeal  world  by  the  light  of  Nature. 

The  Archetypal  and  Creative  Mind—first  through  its  Paternal  Foundation  and  afterwards  through 
secondary  Gods  called  Intelligences— poured  our  the  whole  infinity  of  its  powers  by  continuous 
exchange  from  highest  to  lowest.  In  their  phallic  symbolism  the  Egyptians  used  the  sperm  to 
represent  the  spiritual  spheres,  because  each  contains  all  that  comes  forth  from  it.  The  Chaldeans  and 
Egyptians  also  held  that  everything  which  is  a  result  dwells  in  the  cause  of  itself  and  turns  to  that 
cause  as  the  lotus  to  the  sun.  Accordingly,  the  Supreme  Intellect,  through  its  Paternal  Foundation, 
first  created  light— the  angelic  world.  Out  of  that  light  were  then  created  the  invisible  hierarchies  of 
beings  which  some  call  the  stars;  and  out  of  the  stars  the  four  elements  and  the  sensible  world  were 
formed.  Thus  all  are  in  all,  after  their  respective  kinds.  All  visible  bodies  or  elements  are  in  the 
invisible  stars  or  spiritual  elements,  and  the  stars  are  likewise  in  those  bodies;  the  stars  are  in  the 

angels  and  the  angels  in  the  stars;  the  angels  are  in  God  and  God  is  in  all.  Therefore,  all  are  divinely  in 
the  Divine,  angelically  in  the  angels,  and  corporeally  in  the  corporeal  world,  and  vice  versa,  just  as  the 
seed  is  the  tree  folded  up,  so  the  world  is  God  unfolded. 

Proclus  says:  "Every  property  of  divinity  permeates  all  creation  and  gives  itself  to  all  inferior  creatures. 
"One  of  the  manifestations  of  the  Supreme  Mind  is  the  power  of  reproduction  according  to  species 
which  it  confers  upon  every  creature  of  which  it  is  the  divine  part.  Thus  souls,  heavens,  elements, 
animals,  plants,  and  stones  generate  themselves  each  according  to  its  pattern,  but  all  are  dependent 
upon  the  one  fertilizing  principle  existing  in  the  Supreme  Mind.  The  fecundative  power,  though  of 
itself  a  unit,  manifests  differently  through  the  various  substances,  for  in  the  mineral  it  contributes  to 
material  existence,  in  the  plant  it  manifests  as  vitality,  and  in  the  animal  as  sensibility.  It  imparts 
motion  to  the  heavenly  bodies,  thought  to  the  souls  of  men,  intellectuality  to  the  angels,  and 
superessentiality  to  God.  Thus  it  is  seen  that  all  forms  are  of  one  substance  and  all  life  of  one  force, 
and  these  are  co-existent  in  the  nature  of  the  Supreme  One. 

This  doctrine  was  first  expounded  by  Plato.  His  disciple,  Aristotle,  set  it  forth  in  these  words:  "We  say 
that  this  Sensible  World  is  an  image  of  another;  therefore  since  this  world  is  vivid  or  alive,  how  much 
more,  then,  that  other  must  live.  *  *  *  Yonder,  therefore,  above  the  stellar  virtues,  stand  other  heavens 
to  be  attained,  like  the  heavens  of  this  world;  beyond  them,  because  they  are  of  a  higher  kind,  brighter 
and  vaster;  nor  are  they  distant  from  each  Other  like  this  one,  for  they  are  incorporeal.  Yonder,  too, 
exists  an  earth,  not  of  inanimate  matter,  but  vivid  with  animal  life  and  all  natural  terrestrial 
phenomena  like  this  one,  but  of  other  kinds  and  perfections.  There  are  plants,  also,  and  gardens,  and 
flowing  water;  there  are  aquatic  animals  but  of  nobler  species.  Yonder  is  air  and  life  appropriate  to  it, 
all  immortal.  And  although  the  life  there  is  analogous  to  ours,  yet  it  is  nobler,  seeing  that  it  is 
intellectual,  perpetual  and  unalterable.  For  if  anyone  should  object  and  ask,  How  in  the  world  above 
do  the  plants,  etc.  above  mentioned  find  footing,  we  should  answer  that  they  do  not  have  objective 
existence,  for  they  were  produced  by  the  primal  Author  in  an  absolute  condition  and  without 
exteriorization.  They  are,  therefore,  in  the  same  case  as  intellect  and  soul;  they  suffer  no  defect  such 
as  waste  and  corruption,  since  the  beings  yonder  are  full  of  energy,  strength  and  joy,  as  living  in  a  life 
sublime  and  being  the  issue  of  one  fount  and  of  one  quality,  compounded  of  all  like  sweet  savors, 
delicate  perfumes,  harmonious  color  and  sound,  and  other  perfections.  Nor  do  they  move  violently 
about  nor  intermix  nor  corrupt  each  other,  but  each  perfectly  preserves  its  own  essential  character; 
and  they  are  simple  and  do  not  multiply  as  corporeal  beings  do." 

In  the  midst  of  the  Table  is  a  great  covered  throne  with  a  seated  female  figure  representing  Isis,  but 
here  called  the  Pantomorphic  lYNX.  G.  R.  S.  Mead  defines  the  lYNX  as  "a  transmitting  intelligence." 
Others  have  declared  it  to  be  a  symbol  of  Universal  Being.  Over  the  head  of  the  goddess  the  throne  is 
surmounted  by  a  triple  crown,  and  beneath  her  feet  is  the  house  of  material  substance.  The  threefold 
crown  is  here  symbolic  of  the  Triune  Divinity,  called  by  the  Egyptians  the  Supreme  Mind,  and 
described  in  the  Sepher  ha  Zohar  as  being  "hidden  and  unrevealed."  According  to  the  Hebrew  system 
of  Qabbalism,  the  Tree  of  the  Sephiroth  was  divided  into  two  parts,  the  upper  invisible  and  the  lower 
visible.  The  upper  consisted  of  three  parts  and  the  lower  of  seven.  The  three  uncognizable  Sephiroth 
were  called  Kether,  the  Crown;  Chochmah,  Wisdom;  and  Binah,  Understanding.  These  are  too 
abstract  to  permit  of  comprehension,  whereas  the  lower  seven  spheres  that  came  forth  from  them 
were  within  the  grasp  of  human  consciousness.  The  central  panel  contains  seven  triads  of  figures. 
These  represent  the  lower  Sephiroth,  all  emanating  from  the  concealed  threefold  crown  over  the 

Kircher  writes:  "The  throne  denotes  the  diffusion  of  the  triform  Supreme  Mind  along  the  universal 
paths  of  the  three  worlds.  Out  of  these  three  intangible  spheres  emerges  the  sensible  universe,  which 
Plutarch  calls  the  'House  of  Horns'  and  the  Egyptians,  the  'Great  Gate  of  the  Gods.'  The  top  of  the 
throne  is  in  the  midst  of  diffused  serpent-shaped  flames,  indicating  that  the  Supreme  Mind  is  filled 
with  light  and  life,  eternal  and  incorruptible,  removed  from  all  material  contact.  How  the  Supreme 

Mind  communicated  His  fire  to  all  creatures  is  clearly  set  forth  in  the  symbolism  of  the  Table.  The 

Divine  Fire  is  communicated  c  to  lower  spheres  through  the  universal  power  of  Nature  personified  by 
the  World  Virgin,  Isis,  here  denominated  the  lYNX,  or  the  polymorphous  all-containing  Universal 
Idea."  The  word  Idea  is  here  used  in  its  Platonic  sense.  "Plato  believed  that  there  are  eternal  forms  of 
all  possible  things  which  exist  without  matter;  and  to  these  eternal  and  immaterial  forms  he  gave  the 
name  of  ideas.  In  the  Platonic  sense,  ideas  were  the  patterns  according  to  which  the  Deity  fashioned 
the  phenomenal  or  ectypal  world."  (Sir  W.  Hamilton.) 

Kircher  describes  the  21  figures  in  the  central  panel  thus:  "Seven  principal  triads,  corresponding  to 
seven  superior  worlds,  are  shown  in  the  central  section  of  the  Table.  They  all  originate  from  the  fiery, 
invisible  archetype  [the  triple  crown  of  the  throne].  The  first,  the  Ophionic  or  lYNX  Triad,  V  S  W, 
corresponds  to  the  vital  and  fiery  world  and  is  the  first  intellectual  world,  called  by  the  ancients  the 
Aetherium.  Zoroaster  says  of  it:  'Oh,  what  rigorous  rulers  this  world  has!'  The  second,  or  Ibimorphous 
Triad,  O  Q  R,  corresponds  to  the  second  intellectual,  or  ethereal,  world,  and  is  concerned  with  the 
principle  of  humidity.  The  third,  or  Nephtsean  Triad,  X  Y  Z,  corresponds  to  the  third  intellectual  and 
ethereal  [world]  and  is  concerned  with  fecundity.  These  are  the  three  triads  of  the  ethereal  worlds, 
which  correspond  to  the  Father  Foundation.  Then  follow  the  four  triads  of  the  sensible,  or  material, 
worlds,  of  which  the  first  two  correspond  to  the  sidereal  worlds,  G I  K  and  y  8  8,  namely,  Osiris  and 
Isis,  Sun  and  Moon,  indicated  by  two  bulls.  They  are  followed  by  two  triads—the  Hecatine,  LM  N,  and 
the  Serapsean,  ^  r)  9,  corresponding  to  the  sublunary  and  subterranean  worlds.  These  complete  the 
seven  worlds  of  primary  Genii  ruling  the  natural  universe.  Psellus  quotes  Zoroaster:  'The  Egyptians 
and  the  Chaldeans,  taught  that  there  were  seven  corporeal  worlds  (i.  e.,  worlds  ruled  by  the 
intellectual  powers)  ;the  first  is  of  pure  fire;  the  second,  third,  and  fourth,  ethereal;  the  fifth,  sixth,  and 
seventh,  material;  the  seventh  being  the  one  called  terrestrial  and  hater  of  light,  and  is  located  under 
the  Moon,  comprising 



'  r 


I    M  fit 

a  q  f 



2     I'n  jv 

X       Y  Z 

T       f  % 

I"  ■   if  e 

U  & 

•If  ff 


From  Westcott's  The  Isiac  Tablet. 

Zoroaster  declared  that  the  number  three  shines  throughout  the  world.  This  is  revealed  in  the  Bembine,  Table  by  a  series 
of  triads  representing  the  creative  impulses.  Of  the  Isiac  Table  Alexandre  Lenoir  writes:  "The  Isiac  Table,  as  a  work  of  art, 
is  not  of  great  interest,  it  is  but  a  composition,  rather  cold  and  insignificant,  whose  figures,  summarily  sketched  and 
methodically  placed  near  each  other,  give  but  little  impression  of  life.  But,  if  on  the  contrary  after  examining  it,  we 
understand  the  purpose  of  the  author,  we  become  soon  convinced  that  the  Isiac  Table  is  an  image  of  the  heavenly  sphere 
divided  in  small  parts  to  be  used  very  like,  for  general  teaching.  According  to  that  idea,  we  can  conclude  that  the  Isiac 

Table  was  originally  the  introduction  to  a  collection  followed  by  the  Mysteries  of  Isis.  It  was  engraved  on  copper  in  order 
to  be  used  in  the  ceremonial  of  initiation."  (See  New  Essay  on  the  Isiac  Table.) 

p.  60 

within  itself  the  matter  called  fundus,  or  foundation.  'These  seven,  plus  the  one  invisible  crown, 
constitute  the  eight  worlds.  *  *  * 

"Plato  writes  that  it  is  needful  for  the  philosopher  to  know  how  the  seven  circles  beneath  the  first  one 
are  arranged  according  to  the  Egyptians.  The  first  triad  of  fire  denotes  life;  the  second,  water,  over 
which  rule  the  Ibimorphous  divinities;  and  the  third,  air,  ruled  by  Nephta.  From  the  fire  the  heavens 
were  created,  from  the  water  the  earth,  and  air  was  the  mediator  between  them.  In  the  Sephira 
Yetzirah  it  is  said  that  from  the  three  originate  the  seven,  i.  e.,  the  height,  the  depth,  the  East,  the 
West,  the  North,  and  the  South,  and  the  Holy  Temple  in  the  center  sustaining  them  all.  Is  not  the 
Holy  Temple  in  the  center  the  great  throne  of  the  many-formed  Spirit  of  Nature  which  is  shoAAOi  in  the 
middle  of  the  Tablet?  What  are  the  seven  triads  but  the  seven  Powers  that  rule  over  the  world?  Psellus 
writes:  'The  Egyptians  worshipped  the  triad  of  faith,  truth,  and  love;  and  the  seven  fountains:  the  Sun 
as  ruler—the  fountain  of  matter;  then  the  fountain  of  the  archangels;  the  fountain  of  the  senses;  of 
judgment;  of  lightning;  of  reflections;  and  of  characters  of  unknown  composition.  They  say  that  the 
highest  material  fountains  are  those  of  Apollo,  Osiris,  and  Mercury— the  fountains  of  the  centers  of 
the  elements.  'Thus,  they  understood  by  the  Sun  as  ruler  the  solar  world;  by  the  material  archangelic, 
the  lunar  world;  by  the  fountain  of  the  senses,  the  world  of  Saturn;  by  judgment,  Jupiter;  by  lightning. 
Mars;  by  that  of  the  reflections,  or  mirrors,  the  world  of  Venus;  by  the  fountain  of  characters,  the 
world  of  Mercury.  All  these  are  shown  by  the  figures  in  the  center  pane  of  the  Tablet." 

The  upper  panel  contains  the  twelve  figures  of  the  zodiac  arranged  in  four  triads.  The  center  figure  in 
each  group  represents  one  of  the  four  fixed  signs  of  the  zodiac.  S  is  the  sign  of  Aquarius;  Z,  Taurus;  C, 
Leo;  and  G,  Scorpio.  These  are  called  the  Fathers.  In  the  secret  teachings  of  the  Far  East  these  four 
figures— the  man,  the  bull,  the  lion,  and  the  eagle— are  called  the  winged  globes  or  the  four 
Maharajahs  who  stand  upon  the  corners  of  creation.  The  four  cardinal  signs— P,  Capricorn;  X,  Aries; 
B,  Cancer;  F,  Libra— are  called  the  Powers.  The  four  common  signs— V,  Pisces;  A,  Gemini;  E,  Virgo;  H, 
Sagittarius— are  called  the  Minds  of  the  Four  Lords.  This  explains  the  meaning  of  the  winged  globes  of 
Egypt,  for  the  four  central  figures— Aquarius,  Taurus,  Leo,  and  Scorpio  (called  by  Ezekiel  the 
Cherubim)— are  the  globes;  the  cardinal  and  common  signs  on  either  side  are  the  wings.  Therefore  the 
twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac  may  be  symbolized  by  four  globes,  each  with  two  wings. 

The  celestial  triads  are  further  shown  by  the  Egyptians  as  a  globe  (the  Father)  from  which  issue  a 
serpent  (the  Mind)  and  wings  (the  Power).  These  twelve  forces  are  the  fabricators  of  the  world,  and 
from  them  emanate  the  microcosm,  or  the  mystery  of  the  twelve  sacred  animals— representing  in  the 
universe  the  twelve  parts  of  the  world  and  in  man  the  twelve  parts  of  the  human  body.  Anatomically, 
the  twelve  figures  in  the  upper  panel  may  well  symbolize  the  twelve  convolutions  of  the  brain  and  the 
twelve  figures  in  the  lower  panel  the  twelve  zodiacal  members  and  organs  of  the  human  body,  for  man 
is  a  creature  formed  of  the  twelve  sacred  animals  with  his  members  and  organs  under  the  direct 
control  of  the  twelve  governors  or  powers  resident  in  the  brain. 

A  more  profound  interpretation  is  found  in  the  correspondences  between  the  twelve  figures  in  the 
upper  panel  and  the  twelve  in  the  lower.  This  furnishes  a  key  to  one  of  the  most  arcane  of  ancient 
secrets— the  relationship  existing  between  the  two  great  zodiacs  the  fixed  and  the  movable.  The  fixed 
zodiac  is  described  as  an  immense  dodecahedron,  its  twelve  surfaces  representing  the  outermost 
walls  of  abstract  space.  From  each  surface  of  this  dodecahedron  a  great  spiritual  power,  radiating 
inward,  becomes  embodied  as  one  of  the  hierarchies  of  the  movable  zodiac,  which  is  a  band  of 
circumambulating  so-called  fixed  stars.  Within  this  movable  zodiac  are  posited  the  various  planetary 
and  elemental  bodies.  The  relation  of  these  two  zodiacs  to  the  subzodiacal  spheres  has  a  correlation  in 

the  respiratory  system  of  the  human  body.  The  great  fixed  zodiac  maybe  said  to  represent  the 

atmosphere,  the  movable  zodiac  the  lungs,  and  the  subzodiacal  worlds  the  body.  The  spiritual 
atmosphere  containing  the  vivifying  energies  of  the  twelve  divine  powers  of  the  great  fixed  zodiac  is 
inhaled  by  the  cosmic  lungs—the  movable  zodiac—and  distributed  by  them  through  the  constitution 
of  the  twelve  holy  animals  which  are  the  parts  and  members  of  the  material  universe.  The  functional 
cycle  is  completed  when  the  poisonous  effluvia  of  the  lower  worlds  collected  by  the  movable  zodiac 
are  exhaled  into  the  great  fixed  zodiac,  there  to  be  purified  by  being  passed  through  the  divine  natures 
of  its  twelve  eternal  hierarchies. 

The  Table  as  a  whole  is  susceptible  of  many  interpretations.  If  the  border  of  the  Table  with  its 
hieroglyphic  figures  be  accepted  as  the  spiritual  source,  then  the  throne  in  the  center  represents  the 
physical  body  within  which  human  nature  is  enthroned.  From  this  point  of  view  the  entire  Table 
becomes  emblematic  of  the  auric  bodies  of  man,  with  the  border  as  the  outer  extremity  or  shell  of  the 
auric  egg.  If  the  throne  be  accepted  as  the  symbol  of  the  spiritual  sphere,  the  border  typifies  the 
elements,  and  the  various  panels  surrounding  the  central  one  become  emblematic  of  the  worlds  or 
planes  emanating  from  the  one  divine  source.  If  the  Table  be  considered  from  a  purely  physical  basis, 
the  throne  becomes  symbolic  of  the  generative  system  and  the  Table  reveals  the  secret  processes  of 
embryology  as  applied  to  the  formation  of  the  material  worlds.  If  a  purely  physiological  and 
anatomical  interpretation  be  desired,  the  central  throne  becomes  the  heart,  the  Ibimorphous  Triad 
the  mind,  the  Nephteean  Triad  the  generative  system,  and  the  surrounding  hieroglyphics  the  various 
parts  and  members  of  the  human  body.  From  the  evolutionary  viewpoint  the  central  gate  becomes  the 
point  of  both  entrance  and  exit.  Here  also  is  set  forth  the  process  of  initiation,  in  which  the  candidate 
after  passing  successfully  through  the  various  ordeals  is  finally  brought  into  the  presence  of  his  own 
soul,  which  he  alone  is  capable  of  unveiling. 

If  cosmogony  be  the  subject  of  consideration,  the  central  panel  represents  the  spiritual  worlds,  the 
upper  panel  the  intellectual  worlds,  and  the  lower  panel  the  material  worlds.  The  central  panel  may 
also  symbolize  the  nine  invisible  worlds,  and  the  creature  marked  Tthe  physical  nature— the  footstool 
of  Isis,  the  Spirit  of  Universal  Life.  Considered  in  the  light  of  alchemy,  the  central  panel  contains  the 
metals  and  the  borders  the  alchemical  processes.  The  figure  seated  on  the  throne  is  the  Universal 
Mercury— the  "stone  of  the  wise";  the  flaming  canopy  of  the  throne  above  is  the  Divine  Sulphur;  and 
the  cube  of  earth  beneath  is  the  elemental  salt. 

The  three  triads—or  the  Paternal  Foundation— in  the  central  panel  represent  the  Silent  Watchers,  the 
three  invisible  parts  of  the  nature  of  man;  the  two  panels  on  either  side  are  the  quaternary  lower 
nature  of  man.  In  the  central  panel  are  21  figures.  This  number  is  sacred  to  the  sun— which  consists  of 
three  great  powers,  each  with  seven  attributes— and  by  Qabbalistic  reduction  21  becomes  3,  or  the 
Great  Triad. 

It  will  yet  be  proved  that  the  Table  of  Isis  is  directly  connected  with  Egyptian  Gnosticism,  for  in  a 
Gnostic  papyrus  preserved  in  the  Bodleian  Library  there  is  a  direct  reference  to  the  twelve  Fathers  or 
Paternities  beneath  whom  are  twelve  Fountains.  (See  Egyptian  Magic  by  S.S.D.D.)  That  the  lower 
panel  represents  the  underworld  is  further  emphasized  by  the  two  gates— the  great  gate  of  the  East 
and  the  great  gate  of  the  West— for  in  the  Chaldean  theology  the  sun  rises  and  sets  through  gates  in 
the  underworld,  where  it  wanders  during  the  hours  of  darkness.  As  Plato  was  for  thirteen  years  under 
the  instruction  of  the  Magi  Patheneith,  Ochoaps,  Sechtnouphis,  and  Etymon  of  Sebbennithis,  his 
philosophy  consequently  is  permeated  with  the  Chaldean  and  Egyptian  system  of  triads.  The  Bembine 
Table  is  a  diagrammatic  exposition  of  the  so-called  Platonic  philosophy,  for  in  its  design  is  epitomized 
the  entire  theory  of  mystic  cosmogony  and  generation.  The  most  valuable  guide  to  the  interpretation 
of  this  Table  is  the  Commentaries  ofProclus  on  the  Theology  of  Plato.  The  Chaldean  Oracles  of 
Zoroaster  also  contains  many  allusions  to  the  theogonic  principles  which  are  demonstrated  by  the 

The  Theogony  of  Hesiod  contains  the  most  complete  account  of  the  Greek  cosmogony  myth.  Orphic 
cosmogony  has  left  its  impress  upon  the  various  forms  of  philosophy  and  religion—Greek,  Egyptian, 
and  Syrian—which  it  contacted.  Chief  of  the  Orphic  symbols  was  the  mundane  egg  from  which 
Phanes  sprang  into  light.  Thomas  Taylor  considers  the  Orphic  egg  to  be  synonymous  with  the  mixture 
from  bound  and  infinity  mentioned  by  Plato  in  the  Philebus.  The  egg  is  furthermore  the  third 
Intelligible  Triad  and  the  proper  symbol  of  the  Demiurgus,  whose  auric  body  is  the  egg  of  the  inferior 

Eusebius,  on  the  authority  of  Porphyry,  declared  that  the  Egyptians  acknowledged  one  intellectual 
Author  or  Creator  of  the  world  under  the  name  of  Cneph  and  that  they  worshiped  him  in  a  statue  of 
human  form  and  dark  blue  complexion,  holding  in  his  hand  a  girdle  and  a  scepter,  wearing  on  his 
head  a  royal  plume,  and  thrusting  forth  an  egg  out  of  his  mouth.  (See  An  Analysis  of  the  Egyptian 
Mythology)  While  the  Bembine  Table  is  rectangular-shaped,  it  signifies  philosophically  the  Orphic 
egg  of  the  universe  with  its  contents.  In  the  esoteric  doctrines  the  supreme  individual  achievement  is 
the  breaking  of  the  Orphic  egg,  which  is  equivalent  to  the  return  of  the  spirit  to  the  Nirvana—the 
absolute  condition— of  the  Oriental  mystics. 

The  New  Pantheon  by  Samuel  Boyse  contains  three  plates  showing  various  sections  of  the  Bembine 
Table.  The  author,  however,  makes  no  important  contribution  to  the  knowledge  of  the  subject.  In  The 
Mythology  and  Fables  of  the  Ancients  Explained  from  History,  the  Abbe  Banier  devotes  a  chapter  to 
a  consideration  of  the  Mensa  Isiaca.  After  reviewing  the  conclusions  of  Montfaucon,  Kircher,  and 
Pignorius,  he  adds:  "I  am  of  the  opinion  that:  it  was  a  votive  table,  which  some  prince  or  private 
person  had  consecrated  to  Isis,  as  an  acknowledgment  for  some  benefit  which  he  believed  she  had 
conferred  upon  him." 

p.  61 

Wonders  of  Antiquity 

IT  was  a  common  practice  among  the  early  Egyptians,  Greeks,  and  Romans  to  seal  lighted  lamps  in 
the  sepulchers  of  their  dead  as  offerings  to  the  God  of  Death.  Possibly  it  was  also  believed  that  the 
deceased  could  use  these  lights  in  finding  his  way  through  the  Valley  of  the  Shadow.  Later  as  the 
custom  became  generally  established,  not  only  actual  lamps  but  miniatures  of  them  in  terra  cotta 
were  buried  with  the  dead.  Some  of  the  lamps  were  enclosed  in  circular  vessels  for  protection;  and 
instances  have  been  recorded  in  which  the  original  oil  was  found  in  them,  in  a  perfect  state  of 
preservation,  after  more  than  2,000  years.  There  is  ample  proof  that  many  of  these  lamps  were 
burning  when  the  sepulchers  were  sealed,  and  it  has  been  declared  that  they  were  still  burning  when 
the  vaults  were  opened  hundreds  of  years  later.  The  possibility  of  preparing  a  fuel  which  would  renew 
itself  as  rapidly  as  it  was  consumed  has  been  a  source  of  considerable  controversy  among  mediseval 
authors.  After  due  consideration  of  the  evidence  at  hand,  it  seems  well  within  the  range  of  possibility 
that  the  ancient  priest-chemists  did  manufacture  lamps  that  burned,  if  not  indefinitely,  at  least  for 
considerable  periods  of  time. 

Numerous  authorities  have  written  on  the  subject  of  ever-burning  lamps.  W.  Wynn  Westcott 
estimates  the  number  of  writers  who  have  given  the  subject  consideration  as  more  than  150,  and  H.  P. 
Blavatsky  as  173.  While  conclusions  reached  by  different  authors  are  at  variance,  a  majority  admit  the 
existence  of  these  phenomenal  lamps.  Only  a  few  maintained  that  the  lamps  would  burn  forever,  but 
many  were  willing  to  concede  that  they  might  remain  alight  for  several  centuries  without 
replenishment  of  the  fuel.  Some  considered  the  so-called  perpetual  lights  as  mere  artifices  of  the 
crafty  pagan  priests,  while  a  great  many,  admitting  that  the  lamps  actually  burned,  made  the 
sweeping  assertion  that  the  Devil  was  using  this  apparent  miracle  to  ensnare  the  credulous  and 
thereby  lead  their  souls  to  perdition. 

On  this  subject  the  learned  Jesuit,  Athanasius  Kircher,  usually  dependable,  exhibits  a  striking 
inconsistency.  In  his  CEdipus  ^gyptiacus  he  writes:  "Not  a  few  of  these  ever-burning  lamps  have 
been  found  to  be  the  devices  of  devils,  *  *  *  And  I  take  it  that  all  the  lamps  found  in  the  tombs  of  the 
Gentiles  dedicated  to  the  worship  of  certain  gods,  were  of  this  kind,  not  because  they  burned,  or  have 
been  reported  to  burn,  with  a  perpetual  flame,  but  because  probably  the  devil  set  them  there, 
maliciously  intending  thereby  to  obtain  fresh  credence  for  a  false  worship." 

Having  admitted  that  dependable  authorities  defend  the  existence  of  the  ever-burning  lamps,  and 
that  even  the  Devil  lends  himself  to  their  manufacture,  Kircher  next  declared  the  entire  theory  to  be 
desperate  and  impossible,  and  to  be  classed  with  perpetual  motion  and  the  Philosopher's  Stone. 
Having  already  solved  the  problem  to  his  satisfaction  once,  Kircher  solves  it  again—but  differently—in 
the  following  words:  "In  Egypt  there  are  rich  deposits  of  asphalt  and  petroleum.  What  did  these  clever 
fellows  [the  priests]  do,  then,  but  connect  an  oil  deposit  by  a  secret  duct  with  one  or  more  lamps, 
provided  with  wicks  of  asbestos!  How  could  such  lamps  help  burning  perpetually?  *  *  *  In  my  opinion 
this  is  the  solution  of  the  riddle  of  the  supernatural  everlastingness  of  these  ancient  lamps." 

Montfaucon,  in  his  Antiquities,  agrees  in  the  main  with  the  later  deductions  of  Kircher,  believing  the 
fabled  perpetual  lamps  of  the  temples  to  be  cunning  mechanical  contrivances.  He  further  adds  that 
the  belief  that  lamps  burned  indefinitely  in  tombs  was  the  result  of  the  noteworthy  fact  that  in  some 
cases  fumes  resembling  smoke  poured  forth  from  the  entrances  of  newly  opened  vaults.  Parties  going 
in  later  and  discovering  lamps  scattered  about  the  floor  assumed  that  they  were  the  source  of  the 

There  are  several  interesting  stories  concerning  the  discoveries  of  ever-burning  lamps  in  various  parts 
of  the  world.  In  a  tomb  on  the  Appian  Way  which  was  opened  during  the  papacy  of  Paul  III  was  found 
a  burning  lamp  which  had  remained  alight  in  a  hermetically  sealed  vault  for  nearly  1,600  years. 
According  to  an  account  written  by  a  contemporary,  a  body—that  of  a  young  and  beautiful  girl  with 
long  golden  hair —was  found  floating  in  an  unknown  transparent  liquid  and  as  well  preserved  as 
though  death  had  occurred  but  a  few  hours  before.  About  the  interior  of  the  vault  were  a  number  of 
significant  objects,  which  included  several  lamps,  one  of  them  alight.  Those  entering  the  sepulcher 
declared  that  the  draft  caused  by  the  opening  of  the  door  blew  out  the  light  and  the  lamp  could  not  be 
relighted.  Kircher  reproduces  an  epitaph,  "TULLIOLAE  FILIAE  MEAE,"  supposedly  found  in  the 
tomb,  but  which  Montfaucon  declares  never  existed,  the  latter  adding  that  although  conclusive 
evidence  was  not  found,  the  body  was  generally  believed  to  be  that  of  TuUiola,  the  daughter  of  Cicero. 

Ever-burning  lamps  have  been  discovered  in  all  parts  of  the  world.  Not  only  the  Mediterranean 
countries  but  also  India,  Tibet,  China,  and  South  America  have  contributed  records  of  lights  which 
burned  continuously  without  fuel.  The  examples  which  follow  were  selected  at  random  from  the 
imposing  list  of  perpetual  lamps  found  in  different  ages. 

Plutarch  wrote  of  a  lamp  that  burned  over  the  door  of  a  temple  to  Jupiter  Ammon;  the  priests 
declared  that  it  had  remained  alight  for  centuries  without  fuel. 

St.  Augustine  described  a  perpetual  lamp,  guarded  in  a  temple  in  Egypt  sacred  to  Venus,  which 
neither  wind  nor  water  could  extinguish.  He  believed  it  to  be  the  work  of  the  Devil. 

An  ever-burning  lamp  was  found  at  Edessa,  or  Antioch,  during  the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Justinian.  It 
was  in  a  niche  over  the  city  gate,  elaborately  enclosed  to  protect  it  from  the  elements.  The  date  upon  it 
proved  that  the  lamp  had  been  burning  for  more  than  500  years.  It  was  destroyed  by  soldiers. 

During  the  early  Middle  Ages  a  lamp  was  found  in  England  which  had  burned  since  the  third  century 
after  Christ.  The  monument  containing  it  was  believed  to  be  the  tomb  of  the  father  of  Constantine  the 

The  Lantern  of  Pallas  was  discovered  near  Rome  in  A.D.  1401.  It  was  found  in  the  sepulcher  of  Pallas, 
son  of  Evander,  immortalized  by  Virgil  in  his  ^nezd.  The  lamp  was  placed  at  the  head  of  the  body  and 
had  burned  with  a  steady  glow  for  more  than  2,000  years. 

In  A.D.  1550  on  the  island  of  Nesis,  in  the  Bay  of  Naples,  a  magnificent  marble  vault  was  opened  in 
which  was  found  a  lamp  still  alight  which  had  been  placed  there  before  the  beginning  of  the  Christian 

Pausanias  described  a  beautiful  golden  lamp  in  the  temple  of  Minerva  which  burned  steadily  for  a 
year  without  refueling  or  having  the  wick  trimmed.  The  ceremony  of  filling  the  lamp  took  place 
annually,  and  time  was  measured  by  the  ceremony. 

According  to  the  Fama  Fraternitatis,  the  crypt  of  Christian  Rosencreutz  when  opened  120  years  after 
his  death  was  found  to  be  brilliantly  illuminated  by  a  perpetual  lamp  suspended  from  the  ceiling. 

Numa  Pompilius,  King  of  Rome  and  magician  of  considerable  power,  caused  a  perpetual  light  to  burn 
in  the  dome  of  a  temple  he  had  created  in  honor  of  an  elemental  being. 

In  England  a  curious  tomb  was  found  containing 


From  Montfaucon's  Antiquities. 

The  windings  of  these  serpents  formed  the  base,  and  the  three  heads  sustained  the  three  feet  of  the  tripod.  It  is  impossible 
to  secure  satisfactory  information  concerning  the  shape  and  size  of  the  celebrated  Delphian  tripod.  Theories  concerning  it 
are  based  (in  most  part)  upon  small  ornamental  tripods  discovered  in  various  temples. 


From  Beaumont's  Gleanings  of  Antiquities. 

According  to  Beaumont,  the  above  is  the  most  authentic  form  of  the  Delphian  tripod  extant;  but  as  the  tripod  must  have 
changed  considerably  during  the  life  of  the  oracle,  hasty  conclusions  are  unwise.  In  his  description  of  the  tripod, 
Beaumont  divides  it  into  four  Parts:  (i)  a  frame  with  three  (2),  a  reverberating  basin  or  bowl  set  in  the  frame;  (e)  a  flat 
plate  or  table  upon  which  the  Pythia  sat;  and  (4)  a  cone-shaped  cover  over  the  table,  which  completely  concealed  the 
priestess  and  from  beneath  which  her  voice  sounded  forth  in  weird  and  hollow  tones.  Attempts  have  been  made  to  relate 
the  Delphian  tripod  with  the  Jewish  Ark  of  the  Covenant.  The  frame  of  three  legs  was  likened  to  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant; 
the  flat  plate  or  table  to  the  Mercy  Seat;  and  the  cone-shaped  covering  to  the  tent  of  the  Tabernacle  itself.  This  entire 

conception  differs  widely  from  that  popularly  accepted,  but  discloses  a  valuable  analogy  between  Jewish  and  Greek 

p.  62 

an  automaton  which  moved  when  certain  stones  in  the  floor  of  the  vault  were  stepped  upon  by  an 
intruder.  At  that  time  the  Rosicrucian  controversy  was  at  its  height,  so  it  was  decided  that  the  tomb 
was  that  of  a  Rosicrucian  initiate.  A  countryman,  discovering  the  tomb  and  entering,  found  the 
interior  brilliantly  lighted  by  a  lamp  hanging  from  the  ceiling.  As  he  walked,  his  weight  depressed 
some  of  the  floor  stones.  At  once  a  seated  figure  in  heavy  armor  began  to  move.  Mechanically  it  rose 
to  its  feet  and  struck  the  lamp  with  an  iron  baton,  completely  destroying  it,  and  thus  effectually 
preventing  the  discovery  of  the  secret  substance  which  maintained  the  flame.  How  long  the  lamp  had 
burned  is  unknown,  but  certainly  it  had  been  for  a  considerable  number  of  years. 

It  is  related  that  among  the  tombs  near  Memphis  and  in  the  Brahmin  temples  of  India  lights  have 
been  found  in  sealed  chambers  and  vessels,  but  sudden  exposure  to  the  air  has  extinguished  them  and 
caused  their  fuel  to  evaporate. 

It  is  now  believed  that  the  wicks  of  these  perpetual  lamps  were  made  of  braided  or  woven  asbestos, 
called  by  the  alchemists  salamander's  wool,  and  that  the  fuel  was  one  of  the  products  of  alchemical 
research.  Kircher  attempted  to  extract  oil  from  asbestos,  being  convinced  that  as  the  substance  itself 
was  indestructible  by  fire  an  oil  extracted  from  it  would  supply  the  lamp  with  a  fuel  likewise 
indestructible.  After  spending  two  years  in  fruitless  experimental  work,  he  concluded  that  the  task 
was  impossible  of  accomplishment. 

Several  formulae  for  the  making  of  the  fuel  for  the  lamps  have  been  preserved.  In  Isis  Unveiled,  H.  P. 
Blavatsky  reprints  two  of  these  formulee  from  early  authors—Tritenheim  and  Bartolomeo  Korndorf. 
One  will  suffice  to  give  a  general  understanding  of  the  process: 

"Sulphur.  Alum  ust.  a  □  iv.;  sublime  them  into  flowers  to  □  ij.,  of  which  add  of  crystalline  Venetian 
borax  (powdered)  □  j.;  upon  these  affuse  high  rectified  spirit  of  wine  and  digest  it,  then  abstract  it 
and  pour  on  fresh;  repeat  this  so  often  till  the  sulphur  melts  like  wax  without  any  smoke,  upon  a  hot 
plate  of  brass:  this  is  for  the  pabulum,  but  the  wick  is  to  be  prepared  after  this  manner:  gather  the 
threads  or  thrums  of  the  Lapis  asbestos,  to  the  thickness  of  your  middle  and  the  length  of  your  little 
finger,  then  put  them  into  a  Venetian  glass,  and  covering  them  over  with  the  aforesaid  depurated 
sulphur  or  aliment  set  the  glass  in  sand  for  the  space  of  twenty-four  hours,  so  hot  that  the  sulphur 
may  bubble  all  the  while.  The  wick  being  thus  besmeared  and  anointed,  is  to  be  put  into  a  glass  like  a 
scallop-shell,  in  such  manner  that  some  part  of  it  may  lie  above  the  mass  of  prepared  sulphur;  then 
setting  this  glass  upon  hot  sand,  you  must  melt  the  sulphur,  so  that  it  may  lay  hold  of  the  wick,  and 
when  it  is  lighted,  it  will  burn  with  a  perpetual  flame  and  you  may  set  this  lamp  in  any  place  where 
you  please." 


The  worship  of  Apollo  included  the  establishment  and  maintenance  of  places  of  prophecy  by  means  of 
which  the  gods  could  communicate  with  mankind  and  reveal  futurity  to  such  as  deserved  the  boon. 
The  early  history  of  Greece  abounds  with  accounts  of  talking  trees,  rivers,  statues,  and  caves  in  which 
nymphs,  dryads,  or  dsemons  had  taken  up  their  abodes  and  from  which  they  delivered  oracles.  While 
Christian  authors  have  tried  to  prove  that  oracular  revelations  were  delivered  by  the  Devil  for  the 
purpose  of  misleading  humanity,  they  have  not  dared  to  attack  the  theory  of  oracles,  because  of  the 
repeated  reference  to  it  in  their  own  sacred  writings.  If  the  onyx  stones  on  the  shoulders  of  Israel's 
high  priest  made  known  by  their  flashings  the  will  of  Jehovah,  then  a  black  dove,  temporarily 
endowed  with  the  faculty  of  speech,  could  indeed  pronounce  oracles  in  the  temple  of  Jupiter  Ammon. 

If  the  witch  of  Endor  could  invoke  the  shade  of  Samuel,  who  in  turn  gave  prophecies  to  Saul,  could 
not  a  priestess  of  Apollo  call  up  the  specter  of  her  liege  to  foretell  the  destiny  of  Greece? 

The  most  famous  oracles  of  antiquity  were  those  of  Delphi,  Dodona,  Trophonius,  and  Latona,  of 
which  the  talking  oak  trees  of  Dodona  were  the  oldest.  Though  it  is  impossible  to  trace  back  to  the 
genesis  of  the  theory  of  oracular  prophecy,  it  is  known  that  many  of  the  caves  and  fissures  set  aside  by 
the  Greeks  as  oracles  were  sacred  long  before  the  rise  of  Greek  culture. 

The  oracle  of  Apollo  at  Delphi  remains  one  of  the  unsolved  mysteries  of  the  ancients.  Alexander 
Wilder  derives  the  name  Delphi  from  delphos,  the  womb.  This  name  was  chosen  by  the  Greeks  be 
cause  of  the  shape  of  the  cavern  and  the  vent  leading  into  the  depths  of  the  earth.  The  original  name 
of  the  oracle  was  Pytho,  so  called  because  its  chambers  had  been  the  abode  of  the  great  serpent 
Python,  a  fearsome  creature  that  had  crept  out  of  the  slime  left  by  the  receding  flood  that  had 
destroyed  all  human  beings  except  Deucalion  and  Pyrrha.  Apollo,  climbing  the  side  of  Mount 
Parnassus,  slew  the  serpent  after  a  prolonged  combat,  and  threw  the  body  down  the  fissure  of  the 
oracle.  From  that  time  the  Sun  God,  surnamed  the  Pythian  Apollo,  gave  oracles  from  the  vent.  With 
Dionysos  he  shared  the  honor  of  being  the  patron  god  of  Delphi. 

After  being  vanquished  by  Apollo,  the  spirit  of  Python  remained  at  Delphi  as  the  representative  of  his 
conqueror,  and  it  was  with  the  aid  of  his  effluvium  that  the  priestess  was  able  to  become  en  rapport 
with  the  god.  The  fumes  rising  from  the  fissure  of  the  oracle  were  supposed  to  come  from  the 
decaying  body  of  Python.  The  name  Pythoness,  or  Pythia,  given  to  the  female  hierophant  of  the  oracle, 
means  literally  one  who  has  been  thrown  into  a  religious  frenzy  by  inhaling  fumes  rising  from 
decomposing  matter.  It  is  of  further  interest  to  note  that  the  Greeks  believed  the  oracle  of  Delphi  to 
be  the  umbilicus  of  the  earth,  thus  proving  that  they  considered  the  planet  an  immense  human  being. 
The  connection  between  the  principle  of  oracular  revelation  and  the  occult  significance  of  the  navel  is 
an  important  secret  belonging  to  the  ancient  Mysteries. 

The  oracle,  however,  is  much  older  than  the  foregoing  account  indicates.  A  story  of  this  kind  was 
probably  invented  by  the  priests  to  explain  the  phenomena  to  those  inquisitive  persons  whom  they 
did  not  consider  worthy  of  enlightenment  regarding  the  true  esoteric  nature  of  the  oracle.  Some 
believe  that  the  Delphic  fissure  was  discovered  by  a  Hypoborean  priest,  but  as  far  back  as  recorded 
history  goes  the  cave  was  sacred,  and  persons  came  from  all  parts  of  Greece  and  the  surrounding 
countries  to  question  the  daemon  who  dwelt  in  its  chimney-like  vent.  Priests  and  priestesses  guarded 
it  closely  and  served  the  spirit  who  dwelt  therein  and  who  enlightened  humanity  through  the  gift  of 

The  story  of  the  original  discovery  of  the  oracle  is  somewhat  as  follows:  Shepherds  tending  their 
flocks  on  the  side  of  Mount  Parnassus  were  amazed  at  the  peculiar  antics  of  goats  that  wandered  close 
to  a  great  chasm  on  its  southwestern  spur.  The  animals  jumped  about  as  though  trying  to  dance,  and 
emitted  strange  cries  unlike  anything  before  heard.  At  last  one  of  the  shepherds,  curious  to  learn  the 
cause  of  the  phenomenon,  approached  the  vent,  from  which  were  rising  noxious  fumes.  Immediately 
he  was  seized  with  a  prophetic  ecstasy;  he  danced  with  wild  abandon,  sang,  jabbered  inarticulate 
sounds,  and  foretold  future  events.  Others  went  close  to  the  fissure,  with  the  same  result.  The  fame  of 
the  place  spread,  and  many  came  to  learn  of  the  future  by  inhaling  the  mephitic  fumes,  which 
exhilarated  to  the  verge  of  delirium. 

Some  of  those  who  came,  being  unable  to  control  themselves,  and  having  temporarily  the  strength  of 
madmen,  tore  themselves  from  those  seeking  to  restrain  them,  and,  jumping  into  the  vent,  perished. 
In  order  to  prevent  others  from  doing  likewise,  a  wall  was  erected  around  the  fissure  and  a  prophetess 
was  appointed  to  act  as  mediator  between  the  oracle  and  those  who  came  to  question  it.  According  to 
later  authorities,  a  tripod  of  gold,  ornamented  with  carvings  of  Apollo  in  the  form  of  Python,  the  great 
serpent,  was  placed  over  the  cleft,  and  on  this  was  arranged  a  specially  prepared  seat,  so  constructed 

that  a  person  would  have  difficulty  in  falling  off  while  under  the  influence  of  the  oracular  fumes,  just 
before  this  time,  a  story  had  been  circulated  that  the  fumes  of  the  oracle  arose  from  the  decaying  body 
of  Python.  It  is  possible  that  the  oracle  revealed  its  own  origin. 

For  many  centuries  during  its  early  history,  virgin  maidens  were  consecrated  to  the  service  of  the 
oracle.  They  were  called  the  Phoebades,  or  Pythige,  and  constituted  that  famous  order  now  known  as 
the  Pythian  priesthood.  It  is  probable  that  women  were  chosen  to  receive  the  oracles  because  their 
sensitive  and  emotional  nature  responded 


From  Historia  Deorum  Fatidicorum. 

Apollo,  the  twin  brother  of  Diana,  was  the  son  of  Jupiter  and  Latona.  Apollo  was  fully  adult  at  the  time  of  his  birth.  He  was 
considered  to  be  the  first  physician  and  the  inventor  of  music  and  song.  The  Greeks  also  acclaimed  him  to  be  father  of  the 
bow  and  arrow.  The  famous  temple  of  Apollo  at  Delphi  was  rebuilt  five  times.  The  first  temple  was  formed  only  of  laurel 
branches;  the  second  was  somewhat  similar;  the  third  was  brass  and  the  fourth  and  fifth  were  probably  of  marble,  of 
considerable  size  and  great  beauty.  No  other  oracle  in  Greece  equaled  in  magnificence  that  of  Delphi  in  the  zenith  of  its 
power.  Writers  declared  that  it  contained  many  statues  of  solid  gold  and  silver,  marvelous  ornaments,  and  implements  of 
the  most  valuable  materials  and  beautiful  workmanship,  donated  by  princes  and  kings  who  came  from  all  parts  of  the 
civilized  world  to  consult  the  spirit  of  Apollo  dwelling  in  this  sanctuary. 


more  quickly  and  completely  to  "the  fumes  of  enthusiasm."  Three  days  before  the  time  set  to  receive 
the  communications  from  Apollo,  the  virgin  priestess  began  the  ceremony  of  purification.  She  bathed 
in  the  Castalian  well,  abstained  from  all  food,  drank  only  from  the  fountain  of  Cassotis,  which  was 
brought  into  the  temple  through  concealed  pipes,  and  just  before  mounting  the  tripod,  she  chewed  a 
few  leaves  of  the  sacred  bay  tree.  It  has  been  said  that  the  water  was  drugged  to  bring  on  distorted 
visions,  or  the  priests  of  Delphi  were  able  to  manufacture  an  exhilarating  and  intoxicating  gas,  which 
they  conducted  by  subterranean  ducts  and  released  into  the  shaft  of  the  oracle  several  feet  below  the 
surface.  Neither  of  these  theories  has  been  proved,  however,  nor  does  either  in  anyway  explain  the 
accuracy  of  the  predictions. 

When  the  young  prophetess  had  completed  the  process  of  purification,  she  was  clothed  in  sanctified 
raiment  and  led  to  the  tripod,  upon  which  she  seated  herself,  surrounded  by  the  noxious  vapors  rising 
from  the  yawning  fissure.  Gradually,  as  she  inhaled  the  fumes,  a  change  came  over  her.  It  was  as  if  a 
different  spirit  had  entered  her  body.  She  struggled,  tore  her  clothing,  and  uttered  inarticulate  cries. 
After  a  time  her  struggles  ceased.  Upon  becoming  calm  a  great  majesty  seemed  to  posses  her,  and 
with  eyes  fixed  on  space  and  body  rigid,  she  uttered  the  prophetic  words.  The  predictions  were 
usually  in  the  form  of  hexameter  verse,  but  the  words  were  often  ambiguous  and  sometimes 
unintelligible.  Every  sound  that  she  made,  every  motion  of  her  body,  was  carefully  recorded  by  the 
five  Hosii,  or  holy  men,  who  were  appointed  as  scribes  to  preserve  the  minutest  details  of  each 
divination.  The  Hosii  were  appointed  for  life,  and  were  chosen  from  the  direct  descendants  of 

After  the  oracle  was  delivered,  the  Pjithia  began  to  struggle  again,  and  the  spirit  released  her.  She  was 
then  carried  or  supported  to  a  chamber  of  rest,  where  she  remained  till  the  nervous  ecstasy  had 
passed  away. 

lamblichus,  in  his  dissertation  on  The  Mysteries,  describes  how  the  spirit  of  the  oracle~a  fiery 
daemon,  even  Apollo  himself —took  control  of  the  Pythoness  and  manifested  through  her:  "But  the 
prophetess  in  Delphi,  whether  she  gives  oracles  to  mankind  through  an  attenuated  and  fiery  spirit, 
bursting  from  the  mouth  of  the  cavern;  or  whether  being  seated  in  the  adytum  on  a  brazen  tripod,  or 
on  a  stool  with  four  feet,  she  becomes  sacred  to  the  God;  whichsoever  of  these  is  the  case,  she  entirely 
gives  herself  up  to  a  divine  spirit,  and  is  illuminated  with  a  ray  of  divine  fire.  And  when,  indeed,  fire 
ascending  from  the  mouth  of  the  cavern  circularly  invests  her  in  collected  abundance,  she  becomes 
filled  from  it  with  a  divine  splendour.  But  when  she  places  herself  on  the  seat  of  the  God,  she  becomes 
co-adapted  to  his  stable  prophetic  power:  and  from  both  of  these  preparatory  operations  she  becomes 
wholly  possessed  by  the  God.  And  then,  indeed,  he  is  present  with  and  illuminates  her  in  a  separate 
manner,  and  is  different  from  the  lire,  the  spirit,  the  proper  seat,  and,  in  short,  from  all  the  visible 
apparatus  of  the  place,  whether  physical  or  sacred." 

Among  the  celebrities  who  visited  the  oracle  of  Delphi  were  the  immortal  Apollonius  of  Tyana  and  his 
disciple  Damis.  He  made  his  offerings  and,  after  being  crowned  with  a  laurel  wreath  and  given  a 
branch  of  the  same  plant  to  carry  in  his  hand,  he  passed  behind  the  statue  of  Apollo  which  stood 
before  the  entrance  to  the  cave,  and  descended  into  the  sacred  place  of  the  oracle.  The  priestess  was 
also  crowned  with  laurel  and  her  head  bound  with  a  band  of  white  wool.  Apollonius  asked  the  oracle 
if  his  name  would  be  remembered  by  future  generations.  The  Pythoness  answered  in  the  affirmative, 
but  declared  that  it  would  always  be  calumniated.  Apollonius  left  the  cavern  in  anger,  but  time  has 
proved  the  accuracy  of  the  prediction,  for  the  early  church  fathers  perpetuated  the  name  of 
Apollonius  as  the  Antichrist.  (For  details  of  the  story  see  Histoire  de  la  Magie.) 

The  messages  given  by  the  virgin  prophetess  were  turned  over  to  the  philosophers  of  the  oracle, 
whose  duty  it  was  to  interpret  and  apply  them.  The  communications  were  then  delivered  to  the  poets, 
who  immediately  translated  them  into  odes  and  lyrics,  setting  forth  in  exquisite  form  the  statements 
supposedly  made  by  Apollo  and  making  them  available  for  the  populace. 

Serpents  were  much  in  evidence  at  the  oracle  of  Delphi.  The  base  of  the  tripod  upon  which  the  Pythia 
sat  was  formed  of  the  twisted  bodies  of  three  gigantic  snakes.  According  to  some  authorities,  one  of 
the  processes  used  to  produce  the  prophetic  ecstasy  was  to  force  the  young  priestess  to  gaze  into  the 
eyes  of  a  serpent.  Fascinated  and  hypnotized,  she  then  spoke  with  the  voice  of  the  god. 

Although  the  early  Pythian  priestesses  were  always  maidens—some  still  in  their  teens—a  law  was  later 
enacted  that  only  women  past  fifty  years  of  age  should  be  the  mouthpiece  of  the  oracle.  These  older 
women  dressed  as  young  girls  and  went  through  the  same  ceremonial  as  the  first  Pjithiae.  The  change 

was  probably  the  indirect  result  of  a  series  of  assaults  made  upon  the  persons  of  the  priestesses  by  the 

During  the  early  history  of  the  Delphian  oracle  the  god  spoke  only  at  each  seventh  birthday  of  Apollo. 
As  time  went  on,  however,  the  demand  became  so  great  that  the  Pjithia  was  forced  to  seat  herself 
upon  the  tripod  every  month.  The  times  selected  for  the  consultation  and  the  questions  to  be  asked 
were  determined  by  lot  or  by  vote  of  the  inhabitants  of  Delphi. 

It  is  generally  admitted  that  the  effect  of  the  Delphian  oracle  upon  Greek  culture  was  profoundly 
constructive.  James  Gardner  sums  up  its  influence  in  the  following  words:  "It  responses  revealed 
many  a  tyrant  and  foretold  his  fate.  Through  its  means  many  an  unhappy  being  was  saved  from 
destruction  and  many  a  perplexed  mortal  guided  in  the  right  way.  It  encouraged  useful  institutions, 
and  promoted  the  progress  of  useful  discoveries.  Its  moral  influence  was  on  the  side  of  virtue,  and  its 
political  influence  in  favor  of  the  advancement  of  civil  liberty."  (See  The  Faiths  of  The  World.) 

The  oracle  of  Dodona  was  presided  over  by  Jupiter,  who  uttered  prophecies  through  oak  trees,  birds, 
and  vases  of  brass.  Many  writers  have  noted  the  similarities  between  the  rituals  of  Dodona  and  those 
of  the  Druid  priests  of  Britain  and  Gaul.  The  famous  oracular  dove  of  Dodona,  alighting  upon  the 
branches  of  the  sacred  oaks,  not  only  discoursed  at  length  in  the  Greek  tongue  upon  philosophy  and 
religion,  but  also  answered  the  queries  of  those  who  came  from  distant  places  to  consult  it. 

The  "talking"  trees  stood  together,  forming  a  sacred  grove.  When  the  priests  desired  answers  to 
important  questions,  after  careful  and  solemn  purifications  they  retired  to  the  grove.  They  then 
accosted  the  trees,  beseeching  a  reply  from  the  god  who  dwelt  therein.  When  they  had  stated  their 
questions,  the  trees  spoke  with  the  voices  of  human  beings,  revealing  to  the  priests  the  desired 
information.  Some  assert  that  there  was  but  one  tree  which  spoke—an  oak  or  a  beech  standing  in  the 
very  heart  of  the  ancient  grove.  Because  Jupiter  was  believed  to  inhabit  this  tree  he  was  sometimes 
called  Phegonaeus,  or  one  who  lives  in  a  beech  tree. 

Most  curious  of  the  oracles  of  Dodona  were  the  "talking"  vases,  or  kettles.  These  were  made  of  brass 
and  so  carefully  fashioned  that  when  struck  they  gave  off  sound  for  hours.  Some  writers  have 
described  a  row  of  these  vases  and  have  declared  that  if  one  of  them  was  struck  its  vibrations  would 
be  communicated  to  all  the  others  and  a  terrifying  din  ensue.  Other  authors  describe  a  large  single 
vase,  standing  upon  a  pillar,  near  which  stood  another  column,  supporting  the  statue  of  a  child 
holding  a  whip.  At  the  end  of  the  whip  were  a  number  of  swinging  cords  tipped  with  small  metal  balls, 
and  the  wind,  which  blew  incessantly  through  the  open  building,  caused  the  balls  to  strike  against  the 
vase.  The  number  and  intensity  of  the  impacts  and  the  reverberations  of  the  vase  were  all  carefully 
noted,  and  the  priests  delivered  their  oracles  accordingly. 

When  the  original  priests  of  Dodona~the  5e//o2~mysteriously  vanished,  the  oracle  was  served  for 
many  centuries  by  three  priestesses  who  interpreted  the  vases  and  at  midnight  interrogated  the 
sacred  trees.  The  patrons  of  the  oracles  were  expected  to  bring  offerings  and  to  make  contributions. 

Another  remarkable  oracle  was  the  Cave  of  Trophonius,  which  stood  upon  the  side  of  a  hill  with  an 
entrance  so  small  that  it  seemed  impossible  for  a  human  being  to  enter.  After  the  consultant  had 
made  his  offering  at  the  statue  of  Trophonius  and  had  donned  the  sanctified  garments,  he  climbed  the 
hill  to  the  cave,  carrying  in  one  hand  a  cake  of  honey.  Sitting  down  at  the  edge  of  the  opening,  he 
lowered  his  feet  into  the  cavern.  Thereupon  his  entire  body  was  precipitately 


From  Historia  Deorum  Fatidicorum. 

Jupiter  was  called  Dodonean  after  the  city  of  Dodona  in  Epirus.  Near  this  city  was  a  hill  thickly  covered  with  oak  trees 
which  from  the  most  ancient  times  had  been  sacred  to  Jupiter.  The  grove  was  further  venerated  because  dryads,  fauns, 
satyrs,  and  nymphs  were  believed  to  dwell  in  its  depths.  From  the  ancient  oaks  and  beeches  were  hung  many  chains  of 
tiny  bronze  bells  which  tinkled  day  and  night  as  the  wind  swayed  the  branches.  Some  assert  that  the  celebrated  talking 
dove  of  Dodona  was  in  reality  a  woman,  because  in  Thessaly  both  prophetesses  and  doves  were  called  Peleiadas.  It  is 
supposed  that  the  first  temple  of  Dodona  was  erected  by  Deucalion  and  those  who  survived  the  great  flood  with  him.  For 
this  reason  the  oracle  at  Dodona  was  considered  the  oldest  in  Greece. 

p.  64 

drawn  into  the  cave,  which  was  described  by  those  who  had  entered  it  as  having  only  the  dimensions 
of  a  fair-sized  oven.  When  the  oracle  had  completed  its  revelation,  the  consultant,  usually  delirious, 
was  forcibly  ejected  from  the  cave,  feet  foremost. 

Near  the  cave  of  the  oracle  two  fountains  bubbled  out  of  the  earth  within  a  few  feet  of  each  other. 
Those  about  to  enter  the  cave  drank  first  from  these  fountains,  the  waters  of  which  seemed  to  possess 
peculiar  occult  properties.  The  first  contained  the  water  of  forgetfulness,  and  all  who  drank  thereof 
forgot  their  earthly  sorrows.  From  the  second  fountain  flowed  the  sacred  water  of  Mnemosyne,  or 
remembrance,  for  later  it  enabled  those  who  partook  of  it  to  recall  their  experiences  while  in  the  cave. 

Though  its  entrance  was  marked  by  two  brass  obelisks,  the  cave,  surrounded  by  a  wall  of  white  stones 
and  concealed  in  the  heart  of  a  grove  of  sacred  trees,  did  not  present  an  imposing  appearance.  There 
is  no  doubt  that  those  entering  it  passed  through  strange  experiences,  for  they  were  obliged  to  leave  at 
the  adjacent  temple  a  complete  account  of  what  they  saw  and  heard  while  in  the  oracle.  The 
prophecies  were  given  in  the  form  of  dreams  and  visions,  and  were  accompanied  by  severe  pains  in 
the  head;  some  never  completely  recovered  from  the  after  effects  of  their  delirium.  The  confused 
recital  of  their  experiences  was  interpreted  by  the  priests  according  to  the  question  to  be  answered. 
While  the  priests  probably  used  some  unknown  herb  to  produce  the  dreams  or  visions  of  the  cavern, 
their  skill  in  interpreting  them  bordered  on  the  Supernatural.  Before  consulting  the  oracle,  it  was 

necessary  to  offer  a  ram  to  the  daemon  of  the  cave,  and  the  priest  decided  by  hieromanqr  whether  the 
time  chosen  was  propitious  and  the  sacrifice  was  satisfactory. 


Many  of  the  sculptors  and  architects  of  the  ancient  world  were  initiates  of  the  Mysteries,  particularly 
the  Eleusinian  rites.  Since  the  dawn  of  time,  the  truers  of  stone  and  the  hewers  of  wood  have 
constituted  a  divinely  overshadowed  caste.  As  civilization  spread  slowly  over  the  earth,  cities  were 
built  and  deserted;  monuments  were  erected  to  heroes  at  present  unknown;  temples  were  built  to 
gods  who  lie  broken  in  the  dust  of  the  nations  they  inspired.  Research  has  proved  not  only  that  the 
builders  of  these  cities  and  monuments  and  the  sculptors  who  chiseled  out  the  inscrutable  faces  of  the 
gods  were  masters  of  their  crafts,  but  that  in  the  world  today  there  are  none  to  equal  them.  The 
profound  knowledge  of  mathematics  and  astronomy  embodied  in  ancient  architecture,  and  the 
equally  profound  knowledge  of  anatomy  revealed  in  Greek  statuary,  prove  that  the  fashioners  of  both 
were  master  minds,  deeply  cultured  in  the  wisdom  which  constituted  the  arcana  of  the 
Mysteries  .Thus  was  established  the  Guild  of  the  Builders,  progenitors  of  modern  Freemasons.  When 
employed  to  build  palaces,  temples  or  combs,  or  to  carve  statues  for  the  wealthy,  those  initiated 
architects  and  artists  concealed  in  their  works  the  secret  doctrine,  so  that  now,  long  after  their  bones 
have  returned  to  dust,  the  world  realizes  that  those  first  artisans  were  indeed  duly  initiated  and 
worthy  to  receive  the  wages  of  Master  Masons. 

The  Seven  Wonders  of  the  World,  while  apparently  designed  for  divers  reasons,  were  really 
monuments  erected  to  perpetuate  the  arcana  of  the  Mysteries.  They  were  symbolic  structures,  placed 
in  peculiar  spots,  and  the  real  purpose  of  their  erection  can  be  sensed  only  by  the  initiated.  Eliphas 
Levi  has  noted  the  marked  correspondence  between  these  Seven  Wonders  and  the  seven  planets.  The 
Seven  Wonders  of  the  World  were  built  by  Widow's  sons  in  honor  of  the  seven  planetary  genii.  Their 
secret  symbolism  is  identical  with  that  of  the  seven  seals  of  Revelation  and  the  seven  churches  of  Asia. 

1.  The  Colossus  of  Rhodes,  a  gigantic  brass  statue  about  109  feet  in  height  and  requiring  over  twelve 
years  to  build,  was  the  work  of  an  initiated  artist.  Chares  of  Lindus.  The  popular  theory—accepted  for 
several  hundred  years—that  the  figure  stood  with  one  foot  on  each  side  of  the  entrance  to  the  harbor 
of  Rhodes  and  that  full-rigged  ships  passed  between  its  feet,  has  never  been  substantiated. 
Unfortunately,  the  figure  remained  standing  but  fifty-six  years,  being  thrown  down  by  an  earthquake 
in  224  B.C.  The  shattered  parts  of  the  Colossus  lay  scattered  about  the  ground  for  more  than  900 
years,  when  they  were  finally  sold  to  a  Jewish  merchant,  who  carried  the  metal  away  on  the  backs  of 
700  camels.  Some  believed  that  the  brass  was  converted  into  munitions  and  others  that  it  was  made 
into  drainage  pipes.  This  gigantic  gilded  figure,  with  its  crown  of  solar  rays  and  its  upraised  torch, 
signified  occultly  the  glorious  Sun  Man  of  the  Mysteries,  the  Universal  Savior. 

2.  The  architect  Ctesiphon,  in  the  fifth  century  B.C.,  submitted  to  the  Ionian  cities  a  plan  for  erecting 
a  joint  monument  to  their  patron  goddess,  Diana.  The  place  chosen  was  Ephesus,  a  city  south  of 
Smyrna.  The  building  was  constructed  of  marble.  The  roof  was  supported  by  127  columns,  each  60 
feet  high  and  weighing  over  150  tons.  The  temple  was  destroyed  by  black  magic  about  356  B.C.,  but 
the  world  fixes  the  odious  crime  upon  the  tool  by  means  of  which  the  destruction  was  accomplished— 
a  mentally  deranged  man  named  Herostratus.  It  was  later  rebuilt,  but  the  symbolism  was  lost.  The 
original  temple,  designed  as  a  miniature  of  the  universe,  was  dedicated  to  the  moon,  the  occult 
symbol  of  generation. 

3.  Upon  his  exile  from  Athens,  Phidias— the  greatest  of  all  the  Greek  sculptors— went  to  Olympia  in  the 
province  of  Elis  and  there  designed  his  colossal  statue  of  Zeus,  chief  of  the  gods  of  Greece.  There  is 
not  even  an  accurate  description  of  this  masterpiece  now  in  existence;  only  a  few  old  coins  give  an 
inadequate  idea  of  its  general  appearance.  The  body  of  the  god  was  overlaid  with  ivory  and  the  robes 
were  of  beaten  gold.  In  one  hand  he  is  supposed  to  have  held  a  globe  supporting  a  figure  of  the 

Goddess  of  Victory,  in  the  other  a  scepter  surmounted  by  an  eagle.  The  head  of  Zeus  was  archaic, 
heavily  bearded,  and  crowned  with  an  olive  wreath.  The  statue  was  seated  upon  an  elaborately 
decorated  throne.  As  its  name  implies,  the  monument  was  dedicated  to  the  spirit  of  the  planet 
Jupiter,~one  of  the  seven  Logi  who  bow  before  the  Lord  of  the  Sun. 

4.  Eliphas  Levi  includes  the  Temple  of  Solomon  among  the  Seven  Wonders  of  the  World,  giving  it  the 
place  occupied  by  the  Pharos,  or  Lighthouse,  of  Alexandria.  The  Pharos,  named  for  the  island  upon 
which  it  stood,  was  designed  and  constructed  by  Sostratus  of  Cnidus  during  the  reign  of  Ptolemy 
(283-247  B.C.).  It  is  described  as  being  of  white  marble  and  over  600  feet  high.  Even  in  that  ancient 
day  it  cost  nearly  a  million  dollars.  Fires  were  lighted  in  the  top  of  it  and  could  be  seen  for  miles  out  at 
sea.  It  was  destroyed  by  an  earthquake  in  the  thirteenth  century,  but  remains  of  it  were  visible  until 

A.  D.  1350.  Being  the  tallest  of  all  the  Wonders,  it:  was  naturally  assigned  to  Saturn,  the  Father  of  the 
gods  and  the  true  illuminator  of  all  humanity. 

5.  The  Mausoleum  at  Halicarnassus  was  a  magnificent  monument  erected  by  Queen  Artemisia  in 
memory  of  her  dead  husband.  King  Mausolus,  from  whose  name  the  word  mausoleum  is  derived.  The 
designers  of  the  building  were  Satyrus  and  P5l;his,  and  four  great  sculptors  were  employed  to 
ornament  the  edifice.  The  building,  which  was  114  feet  long  and  92  feet  wide,  was  divided  into  five 
major  sections  (the  senses)  and  surmounted  by  a  pyramid  (the  spiritual  nature  of  man).  The  pyramid 
rose  in  24  steps  (a  sacred  number),  and  upon  the  apex  was  a  statue  of  King  Mausolus  in  a  chariot.  His 
figure  was  9  feet  9V2  inches  tall.  Many  attempts  have  been  made  to  reconstruct  the  monument,  which, 
was  destroyed  by  an  earthquake,  but  none  has  been  altogether  successful.  This  monument  was  sacred 
to  the  planet  Mars  and  was  built  by  an  initiate  for  the  enlightenment  of  the  world. 

6.  The  Gardens  of  Semiramis  at  Babylon—more  commonly  known  as  the  Hanging  Gardens—stood 
within  the  palace  grounds  of  Nebuchadnezzar,  near  the  Euphrates  River.  They  rose  in  a  terrace-like 

pyramid  and  on  the  top  was  a  reservoir  for  the  watering  of  the  gardens.  They  were  built  about  600 

B.  C.,  but  the  name  of  the  landscape  artist  has  not  been  preserved.  They  symbolized  the  planes  of  the 
invisible  world,  and  were  consecrated  to  Venus  as  the  goddess  of  love  and  beauty. 

7.  The  Great  Pyramid  was  supreme  among  the  temples  of  the  Mysteries.  In  order  to  be  true  to  its 
astronomical  symbolism,  it  must  have  been  constructed  about  70,000  years  ago.  It  was  the  tomb  of 
Osiris,  and  was  believed  to  have  been  built  by  the  gods  themselves,  and  the  architect  may  have  been 
the  immortal  Hermes.  It  is  the  monument  of  Mercury,  the  messenger  of  the  gods,  and  the  universal 
symbol  of  wisdom  and  letters. 


from  Historia  Deorum  Fatidicorum. 

Trophonius  and  his  brother  Agamedes  were  famous  architects.  While  building  a  certain  treasure  vault,  they  contrived  to 
leave  one  stone  movable  so  that  they  might  secretly  enter  and  steal  the  valuables  stored  there.  A  trap  was  set  by  the  owner, 
who  had  discovered  the  plot,  and  Agamedes  was  caught.  To  prevent  discovery,  Trophonius  decapitated  his  brother  and 
fled,  hotly  pursued.  He  hid  in  the  grove  of  Lebadia,  where  the  earth  opened  and  swallowed  him  up.  The  spirit  of 
Trophonius  thereafter  delivered  oracles  in  the  grove  and  its  caverns.  The  name  Trophonius  means  "to  be  agitated,  excited, 
or  roiled."  It  was  declared  that  the  terrible  experiences  through  which  consultants  passed  in  the  oracular  caverns  so 
affected  them  that  they  never  smiled  again.  The  bees  which  accompany  the  figure  of  Trophonius  were  sacred  because  they 
led  the  first  envoys  from  Boetia  to  the  site  of  the  oracle.  The  figure  above  is  said  to  be  a  production  of  a  statue  of 
Trophonius  which  was  placed  on  the  brow  of  the  hill  above  the  oracle  and  surrounded  with  sharply  pointed  stakes  that  it 
could  not  be  touched. 


The  Life  and  Philosophy  of  Pythagoras 

WHILE  Mnesarchus,  the  father  of  Pythagoras,  was  in  the  city  of  Delphi  on  matters  pertaining  to  his 
business  as  a  merchant,  he  and  his  wife,  Parthenis,  decided  to  consult  the  oracle  of  Delphi  as  to 
whether  the  Fates  were  favorable  for  their  return  voyage  to  Syria.  When  the  Pythoness  (prophetess  of 
Apollo)  seated  herself  on  the  golden  tripod  over  the  yawning  vent  of  the  oracle,  she  did  not  answer  the 
question  they  had  asked,  but  told  Mnesarchus  that  his  wife  was  then  with  child  and  would  give  birth 
to  a  son  who  was  destined  to  surpass  all  men  in  beauty  and  wisdom,  and  who  throughout  the  course 
of  his  life  would  contribute  much  to  the  benefit  of  mankind.  Mnesarchus  was  so  deeply  impressed  by 
the  prophecy  that  he  changed  his  wife's  name  to  Pythasis,  in  honor  of  the  Pythian  priestess.  When  the 
child  was  born  at  Sidon  in  Phoenicia,  it  was—as  the  oracle  had  said~a  son.  Mnesarchus  and  Pythasis 
named  the  child  Pythagoras,  for  they  believed  that  he  had  been  predestined  by  the  oracle. 

Many  strange  legends  have  been  preserved  concerning  the  birth  of  Pythagoras.  Some  maintained  that 
he  was  no  mortal  man:  that  he  was  one  of  the  gods  who  had  taken  a  human  body  to  enable  him  to 
come  into  the  world  and  instruct  the  human  race.  Pythagoras  was  one  of  the  many  sages  and  saviors 
of  antiquity  for  whom  an  immaculate  conception  is  asserted.  In  his  Anacalypsis,  Godfrey  Higgins 
writes:  "The  first  striking  circumstance  in  which  the  history  of  Pythagoras  agrees  with  the  history  of 
Jesus  is,  that  they  were  natives  of  nearly  the  same  country;  the  former  being  born  at  Sidon,  the  latter 
at  Bethlehem,  both  in  Syria.  The  father  of  Pythagoras,  as  well  as  the  father  of  Jesus,  was  prophetically 
informed  that  his  wife  should  bring  forth  a  son,  who  should  be  a  benefactor  to  mankind.  They  were 
both  born  when  their  mothers  were  from  home  on  journeys,  Joseph  and  his  wife  having  gone  up  to 
Bethlehem  to  be  taxed,  and  the  father  of  Pythagoras  having  travelled  from  Samos,  his  residence,  to 
Sidon,  about  his  mercantile  concerns.  Pythais  [Pythasis],  the  mother  of  Pythagoras,  had  a  connexion 
with  an  ApoUoniacal  spectre,  or  ghost,  of  the  God  Apollo,  or  God  Sol,  (of  course  this  must  have  been  a 
holy  ghost,  and  here  we  have  the  Holy  Ghost)  which  afterward  appeared  to  her  husband,  and  told  him 
that  he  must  have  no  connexion  with  his  wife  during  her  pregnancy—a  story  evidently  the  same  as 
that  relating  to  Joseph  and  Mary.  From  these  peculiar  circumstances,  Pythagoras  was  known  by  the 
same  title  as  Jesus,  namely,  the  son  of  God;  and  was  supposed  by  the  multitude  to  be  under  the 
influence  of  Divine  inspiration." 

This  most  famous  philosopher  was  born  sometime  between  600  and  590  B.C.,  and  the  length  of  his 
life  has  been  estimated  at  nearly  one  hundred  years. 

The  teachings  of  Pythagoras  indicate  that  he  was  thoroughly  conversant  with  the  precepts  of  Oriental 
and  Occidental  esotericism.  He  traveled  among  the  Jews  and  was  instructed  by  the  Rabbins 
concerning  the  secret  traditions  of  Moses,  the  lawgiver  of  Israel.  Later  the  School  of  the  Essenes  was 
conducted  chiefly  for  the  purpose  of  interpreting  the  Pythagorean  symbols.  Pythagoras  was  initiated 
into  the  Egyptian,  Babylonian,  and  Chaldean  Mysteries.  Although  it  is  believed  by  some  that  he  was  a 
disciple  of  Zoroaster,  it  is  doubtful  whether  his  instructor  of  that  name  was  the  God-man  now  revered 
by  the  Parsees.  While  accounts  of  his  travels  differ,  historians  agree  that  he  visited  many  countries 
and  studied  at  the  feet  of  many  masters. 

"After  having  acquired  all  which  it  was  possible  for  him  to  learn  of  the  Greek  philosophers  and, 
presumably,  become  an  initiate  in  the  Eleusinian  mysteries,  he  went  to  Egypt,  and  after  many  rebuffs 
and  refusals,  finally  succeeded  in  securing  initiation  in  the  Mysteries  of  Isis,  at  the  hands  of  the 
priests  of  Thebes.  Then  this  intrepid  'joiner'  wended  his  way  into  Phoenicia  and  Syria  where  the 
Mysteries  of  Adonis  were  conferred  upon  him,  and  crossing  to  the  valley  of  the  Euphrates  he  tarried 
long  enough  to  become  versed  in,  the  secret  lore  of  the  Chaldeans,  who  still  dwelt  in  the  vicinity  of 
Babylon.  Finally,  he  made  his  greatest  and  most  historic  venture  through  Media  and  Persia  into 

Hindustan  where  he  remained  several  years  as  a  pupil  and  initiate  of  the  learned  Brahmins  of 

Elephanta  and  Ellora."  (See  Ancient  Freemasonry,  by  Frank  C.  Higgins,  32°.)  The  same  author  adds 
that  the  name  of  Pythagoras  is  still  preserved  in  the  records  of  the  Brahmins  as  Yavancharya,  the 
Ionian  Teacher. 

Pythagoras  was  said  to  have  been  the  first  man  to  call  himself  a  philosopher;  in  fact,  the  world  is 
indebted  to  him  for  the  word  philosopher.  Before  that  time  the  wise  men  had  called  themselves  sages, 
which  was  interpreted  to  mean  those  who  know.  Pythagoras  was  more  modest.  He  coined  the  word 
philosopher,  which  he  defined  as  one  who  is  attempting  to  find  out. 

After  returning  from  his  wanderings,  Pythagoras  established  a  school,  or  as  it  has  been  sometimes 
called,  a  university,  at  Crotona,  a  Dorian  colony  in  Southern  Italy.  Upon  his  arrival  at  Crotona  he  was 
regarded  askance,  but  after  a  short  time  those  holding  important  positions  in  the  surrounding 
colonies  sought  his  counsel  in  matters  of  great  moment.  He  gathered  around  him  a  small  group  of 
sincere  disciples  whom  he  instructed  in  the  secret  wisdom  which  had  been  revealed  to  him,  and  also 
in  the  fundamentals  of  occult  mathematics,  music,  and  astronomy,  which  he  considered  to  be  the 
triangular  foundation  of  all  the  arts  and  sciences. 

When  he  was  about  sixty  years  old,  Pythagoras  married  one  of  his  disciples,  and  seven  children 
resulted  from  the  union.  His  wife  was  a  remarkably  able  woman,  who  not  only  inspired  him  during 
the  years  of  his  life  but  after  his  assassination  continued  to  promulgate  his  doctrines. 

As  is  so  often  the  case  with  genius,  Pythagoras  by  his  outspokenness  incurred  both  political  and 
personal  enmity.  Among  those  who  came  for  initiation  was  one  who,  because  Pythagoras  refused  to 
admit  him,  determined  to  destroy  both  the  man  and  his  philosophy.  By  means  of  false  propaganda, 
this  disgruntled  one  turned  the  minds  of  the  common  people  against  the  philosopher.  Without 
warning,  a  band  of  murderers  descended  upon  the  little  group  of  buildings  where  the  great  teacher 
and  his  disciples  dwelt,  burned  the  structures  and  killed  Pythagoras. 

Accounts  of  the  philosopher's  death  do  not  agree.  Some  say  that  he  was  murdered  with  his  disciples; 
others  that,  on  escaping  from  Crotona  with  a  small  band  of  followers,  he  was  trapped  and  burned 
alive  by  his  enemies  in  a  little  house  where  the  band  had  decided  to  rest  for  the  night.  Another 
account  states  that,  finding  themselves  trapped  in  the  burning  structure,  the  disciples  threw 
themselves  into  the  flames,  making  of  their  own  bodies  a  bridge  over  which  Pythagoras  escaped,  only 
to  die  of  a  broken  heart  a  short  time  afterwards  as  the  result  of  grieving  over  the  apparent 
fruitlessness  of  his  efforts  to  serve  and  illuminate  mankind. 

His  surviving  disciples  attempted  to  perpetuate  his  doctrines,  but  they  were  persecuted  on  every  hand 
and  very  little  remains  today  as  a  testimonial  to  the  greatness  of  this  philosopher.  It  is  said  that  the 
disciples  of  Pythagoras  never  addressed  him  or  referred  to  him  by  his  own  name,  but  always  as  The 
Master  or  That  Man.  This  may  have  been  because  of  the  fact  that  the  name  Pythagoras  was  believed 
to  consist  of  a  certain  number  of  specially  arranged  letters  with  great  sacred  significance.  The 
Word  magazine  has  printed  an  article  by  T.  R.  Prater,  showing  that  Pjfthagoras  initiated  his 
candidates  by  means  of  a  certain  formula  concealed  within 


From  Historia  Deorum  Fatidicorum. 

During  his  youth,  Pythagoras  was  a  disciple  of  Pherecydes  and  Hermodamas,  and  while  in  his  teens  became  renowned  for 
the  clarity  of  his  philosophic  concepts.  In  height  he  exceeded  six  feet;  his  body  was  as  perfectly  formed  as  that  of  Apollo. 
Pythagoras  was  the  personification  of  majesty  and  power,  and  in  his  presence  a  felt  humble  and  afraid.  As  he  grew  older, 
his  physical  power  increased  rather  than  waned,  so  that  as  he  approached  the  century  mark  he  was  actually  in  the  prime 
of  life.  The  influence  of  this  great  soul  over  those  about  him  was  such  that  a  word  of  praise  from  P5^hagoras  filled  his 
disciples  with  ecstasy,  while  one  committed  suicide  because  the  Master  became  momentarily  irritate  over  something  he 
had  dome.  Pythagoras  was  so  impressed  by  this  tragedy  that  he  never  again  spoke  unkindly  to  or  about  anyone. 

p.  66 

the  letters  of  his  own  name.  This  may  explain  why  the  word  Pj^hagoras  was  so  highly  revered. 

After  the  death  of  Pythagoras  his  school  gradually  disintegrated,  but  those  who  had  benefited  by  its 
teachings  revered  the  memory  of  the  great  philosopher,  as  during  his  life  they  had  reverenced  the 
man  himself.  As  time  went  on,  Pythagoras  came  to  be  regarded  as  a  god  rather  than  a  man,  and  his 
scattered  disciples  were  bound  together  by  their  common  admiration  for  the  transcendent  genius  of 
their  teacher.  Edouard  Schure,  in  his  Pythagoras  and  the  Delphic  Mysteries,  relates  the  following 
incident  as  illustrative  of  the  bond  of  fellowship  uniting  the  members  of  the  Pythagorean  School: 

"One  of  them  who  had  fallen  upon  sickness  and  poverty  was  kindly  taken  in  by  an  innkeeper.  Before 
dying  he  traced  a  few  mysterious  signs  (the  pentagram,  no  doubt)  on  the  door  of  the  inn  and  said  to 
the  host,  'Do  not  be  uneasy,  one  of  my  brothers  will  pay  my  debts.'  A  year  afterwards,  as  a  stranger 
was  passing  by  this  inn  he  saw  the  signs  and  said  to  the  host,  'I  am  a  Pythagorean;  one  of  my  brothers 
died  here;  tell  me  what  I  owe  you  on  his  account.'" 

Frank  C.  Higgins,  32°,  gives  an  excellent  compendium  of  the  Pj^hagorean  tenets  in  the  following 

"P5rthagoras'  teachings  are  of  the  most  transcendental  importance  to  Masons,  inasmuch  as  they  are 
the  necessary  fruit  of  his  contact  with  the  leading  philosophers  of  the  whole  civilized  world  of  his  own 
day,  and  must  represent  that  in  which  all  were  agreed,  shorn  of  all  weeds  of  controversy.  Thus,  the 
determined  stand  made  by  Pythagoras,  in  defense  of  pure  monotheism,  is  sufficient  evidence  that  the 
tradition  to  the  effect  that  the  unity  of  God  was  the  supreme  secret  of  all  the  ancient  initiations  is 
substantially  correct.  The  philosophical  school  of  Pythagoras  was,  in  a  measure,  also  a  series  of 
initiations,  for  he  caused  his  pupils  to  pass  through  a  series  of  degrees  and  never  permitted  them 
personal  contact  with  himself  until  they  had  reached  the  higher  grades.  According  to  his  biographers, 
his  degrees  were  three  in  number.  The  first,  that  of  'Mathematicus,'  assuring  his  pupils  proficiency  in 
mathematics  and  geometry,  which  was  then,  as  it  would  be  now  if  Masonry  were  properly  inculcated, 
the  basis  upon  which  all  other  knowledge  was  erected.  Secondly,  the  degree  of  'Theoreticus,'  which 
dealt  with  superficial  applications  of  the  exact  sciences,  and,  lastly,  the  degree  of  'Electus,'  which 
entitled  the  candidate  to  pass  forward  into  the  light  of  the  fullest  illumination  which  he  was  capable  of 
absorbing.  The  pupils  of  the  Pythagorean  school  were  divided  into  'exoterici,'  or  pupils  in  the  outer 
grades,  and  'esoterici,'  after  they  had  passed  the  third  degree  of  initiation  and  were  entitled  to  the 
secret  wisdom.  Silence,  secrecy  and  unconditional  obedience  were  cardinal  principles  of  this  great 
order."  (See  Ancient  Freemasonry.) 


The  study  of  geometry,  music,  and  astronomy  was  considered  essential  to  a  rational  understanding  of 
God,  man,  or  Nature,  and  no  one  could  accompany  Pythagoras  as  a  disciple  who  was  not  thoroughly 
familiar  with  these  sciences.  Many  came  seeking  admission  to  his  school.  Each  applicant  was  tested 
on  these  three  subjects,  and  if  found  ignorant,  was  summarily  dismissed. 

Pythagoras  was  not  an  extremist.  He  taught  moderation  in  all  things  rather  than  excess  in  anything, 
for  he  believed  that  an  excess  of  virtue  was  in  itself  a  vice.  One  of  his  favorite  statements  was:  "We 
must  avoid  with  our  utmost  endeavor,  and  amputate  with  fire  and  sword,  and  by  all  other  means, 
from  the  body,  sickness;  from  the  soul,  ignorance;  from  the  belly,  luxury;  from  a  city,  sedition;  from  a 
family,  discord;  and  from  all  things,  excess."  Pythagoras  also  believed  that  there  was  no  crime  equal 
to  that  of  anarchy. 

All  men  know  what  they  want,  but  few  know  what  they  need.  Pythagoras  warned  his  disciples  that 
when  they  prayed  they  should  not  pray  for  themselves;  that  when  they  asked  things  of  the  gods  they 
should  not  ask  things  for  themselves,  because  no  man  knows  what  is  good  for  him  and  it  is  for  this 
reason  undesirable  to  ask  for  things  which,  if  obtained,  would  only  prove  to  be  injurious. 

The  God  of  Pythagoras  was  the  Monad,  or  the  One  that  is  Everything.  He  described  God  as  the 
Supreme  Mind  distributed  throughout  all  parts  of  the  universe— the  Cause  of  all  things,  the 
Intelligence  of  all  things,  and  the  Power  within  all  things.  He  further  declared  the  motion  of  God  to  be 
circular,  the  body  of  God  to  be  composed  of  the  substance  of  light,  and  the  nature  of  God  to  be 
composed  of  the  substance  of  truth. 

Pythagoras  declared  that  the  eating  of  meat  clouded  the  reasoning  faculties.  While  he  did  not 
condemn  its  use  or  totally  abstain  therefrom  himself,  he  declared  that  judges  should  refrain  from 
eating  meat  before  a  trial,  in  order  that  those  who  appeared  before  them  might  receive  the  most 
honest  and  astute  decisions.  When  Pjrthagoras  decided  (as  he  often  did)  to  retire  into  the  temple  of 
God  for  an  extended  period  of  time  to  meditate  and  pray,  he  took  with  his  supply  of  specially 
prepared  food  and  drink.  The  food  consisted  of  equal  parts  of  the  seeds  of  poppy  and  sesame,  the  skin 
of  the  sea  onion  from  which  the  juice  had  been  thoroughly  extracted,  the  flower  of  daffodil,  the  leaves 
of  mallows,  and  a  paste  of  barley  and  peas.  These  he  compounded  together  with  the  addition  of  wild 
honey.  For  a  beverage  he  took  the  seeds  of  cucumbers,  dried  raisins  (with  seeds  removed),  the  flowers 
of  coriander,  the  seeds  of  mallows  and  purslane,  scraped  cheese,  meal,  and  cream,  mixed  together 

and  sweetened  with  wild  honey.  Pythagoras  claimed  that  this  was  the  diet  of  Hercules  while 
wandering  in  the  Libyan  desert  and  was  according  to  the  formula  given  to  that  hero  by  the  goddess 
Ceres  herself. 

The  favorite  method  of  healing  among  the  Pythagoreans  was  by  the  aid  of  poultices.  These  people  also 
knew  the  magic  properties  of  vast  numbers  of  plants.  Pythagoras  highly  esteemed  the  medicinal 
properties  of  the  sea  onion,  and  he  is  said  to  have  written  an  entire  volume  on  the  subject.  Such  a 
work,  however,  is  not  known  at  the  present  time.  Pythagoras  discovered  that  music  had  great 
therapeutic  power  and  he  prepared  special  harmonies  for  various  diseases.  He  apparently 
experimented  also  with  color,  attaining  considerable  success.  One  of  his  unique  curative  processes 
resulted  from  his  discovery  of  the  healing  value  of  certain  verses  from  the  Odyssey  and  the  Iliad  of 
Homer.  These  he  caused  to  be  read  to  persons  suffering  from  certain  ailments.  He  was  opposed  to 
surgery  in  all  its  forms  and  also  objected  to  cauterizing.  He  would  not  permit  the  disfigurement  of  the 
human  body,  for  such,  in  his  estimation,  was  a  sacrilege  against  the  dwelling  place  of  the  gods. 

Pythagoras  taught  that  friendship  was  the  truest  and  nearest  perfect  of  all  relationships.  He  declared 
that  in  Nature  there  was  a  friendship  of  all  for  all;  of  gods  for  men;  of  doctrines  one  for  another;  of  the 
soul  for  the  body;  of  the  rational  part  for  the  irrational  part;  of  philosophy  for  its  theory;  of  men  for 
one  another;  of  countrymen  for  one  another;  that  friendship  also  existed  between  strangers,  between 
a  man  and  his  wife,  his  children,  and  his  servants.  All  bonds  without  friendship  were  shackles,  and 
there  was  no  virtue  in  their  maintenance.  Pythagoras  believed  that  relationships  were  essentially 
mental  rather  than  physical,  and  that  a  stranger  of  sympathetic  intellect  was  closer  to  him  than  a 
blood  relation  whose  viewpoint  was  at  variance  with  his  own.  Pythagoras  defined  knowledge  as  the 
fruitage  of  mental  accumulation.  He  believed  that  it  would  be  obtained  in  many  ways,  but  principally 
through  observation.  Wisdom  was  the  understanding  of  the  source  or  cause  of  all  things,  and  this 
could  be  secured  only  by  raising  the  intellect  to  a  point  where  it  intuitively  cognized  the  invisible 
manifesting  outwardly  through  the  visible,  and  thus  became  capable  of  bringing  itself  en  rapport  with 
the  spirit  of  things  rather  than  with  their  forms.  The  ultimate  source  that  wisdom  could  cognize  was 
the  Monad,  the  mysterious  permanent  atom  of  the  Pythagoreans. 

Pythagoras  taught  that  both  man  and  the  universe  were  made  in  the  image  of  God;  that  both  being 
made  in  the  same  image,  the  understanding  of  one  predicated  the  knowledge  of  the  other.  He  further 
taught  that  there  was  a  constant  interplay  between  the  Grand  Man  (the  universe)  and  man  (the  little 

Pythagoras  believed  that  all  the  sidereal  bodies  were  alive  and  that  the  forms  of  the  planets  and  stars 
were  merely  bodies  encasing  souls,  minds,  and  spirits  in  the  same  manner  that  the  visible  human 
form  is  but  the  encasing  vehicle  for  an  invisible  spiritual  organism  which  is,  in  reality,  the  conscious 
individual.  Pythagoras  regarded  the  planets  as  magnificent  deities,  worthy  of  the  adoration  and 
respect  of  man.  All  these  deities,  however,  he  considered  subservient  to  the  One  First  Cause  within 
whom  they  all  existed  temporarily,  as  mortality  exists  in  the  midst  of  immortality. 

The  famous  Pythagorean  Y  signified  the  power  of  choice  and  was  used  in  the  Mysteries  as  emblematic 
of  the  Forking  of  the  Ways.  The  central  stem  separated  into  two  parts,  one  branching  to 



To  the  five  symmetrical  solids  of  the  ancients  is  added  the  sphere  (i),  the  most  perfect  of  all  created  forms.  The  five 
Pythagorean  solids  are:  the  tetrahedron  (2)  with  four  equilateral  triangles  as  faces;  the  cube  (3)  with  six  squares  as  faces; 
the  octahedron  (4)  with  eight  equilateral  triangles  as  faces;  the  icosahedron  (5)  with  twenty  equilateral  triangles  as  faces; 
and  the  dodecahedron  (6)  with  twelve  regular  pentagons  as  faces. 

p.  67 

the  right  and  the  other  to  the  left.  The  branch  to  the  right  was  called  Divine  Wisdom  and  the  one  to 

the  left  Earthly  Wisdom.  Youth,  personified  by  the  candidate,  walking  the  Path  of  Life,  symbolized  by 
the  central  stem  of  the  Y,  reaches  the  point  where  the  Path  divides.  The  neophyte  must  then  choose 
whether  he  will  take  the  left-hand  path  and,  following  the  dictates  of  his  lower  nature,  enter  upon  a 
span  of  folly  and  thoughtlessness  which  will  inevitably  result  in  his  undoing,  or  whether  he  will  take 
the  right-hand  road  and  through  integrity,  industry,  and  sincerity  ultimately  regain  union  with  the 
immortals  in  the  superior  spheres. 

It  is  probable  that  P)^hagoras  obtained  his  concept  of  the  Y  from  the  Egyptians,  who  included  in 
certain  of  their  initiatory  rituals  a  scene  in  which  the  candidate  was  confronted  by  two  female  figures. 
One  of  them,  veiled  with  the  white  robes  of  the  temple,  urged  the  neophyte  to  enter  into  the  halls  of 
learning;  the  other,  bedecked  with  jewels,  symbolizing  earthly  treasures,  and  bearing  in  her  hands  a 
tray  loaded  with  grapes  (emblematic  of  false  light),  sought  to  lure  him  into  the  chambers  of 
dissipation.  This  symbol  is  still  preserved  among  the  Tarot  cards,  where  it  is  called  The  Forking  of  the 
Ways.  The  forked  stick  has  been  the  symbol  of  life  among  many  nations,  and  it  was  placed  in  the 
desert  to  indicate  the  presence  of  water. 

Concerning  the  theory  of  transmigration  as  disseminated  by  Pythagoras,  there  are  differences  of 
opinion.  According  to  one  view,  he  taught  that  mortals  who  during  their  earthly  existence  had  by  their 
actions  become  like  certain  animals,  returned  to  earth  again  in  the  form  of  the  beasts  which  they  had 
grovm  to  resemble.  Thus,  a  timid  person  would  return  in  the  form  of  a  rabbit  or  a  deer;  a  cruel  person 
in  the  form  of  a  wolf  or  other  ferocious  animal;  and  a  cunning  person  in  the  guise  of  a  fox.  This 
concept,  however,  does  not  fit  into  the  general  Pythagorean  scheme,  and  it  is  far  more  likely  that  it 
was  given  in  an  allegorical  rather  than  a  literal  sense.  It  was  intended  to  convey  the  idea  that  human 
beings  become  bestial  when  they  allow  themselves  to  be  dominated  by  their  ovm  lower  desires  and 
destructive  tendencies.  It  is  probable  that  the  term  transmigration  is  to  be  understood  as  what  is 
more  commonly  called  reincarnation,  a  doctrine  which  Pythagoras  must  have  contacted  directly  or 
indirectly  in  India  and  Egypt. 

The  fact  that  Pythagoras  accepted  the  theory  of  successive  reappearances  of  the  spiritual  nature  in 
human  form  is  found  in  a  footnote  to  Levi's  History  of  Magic:  "He  was  an  important  champion  of 
what  used  to  be  called  the  doctrine  of  metempsychosis,  understood  as  the  soul's  transmigration  into 
successive  bodies.  He  himself  had  been  (a)  Aethalides,  a  son  of  Mercury;  (b)  Euphorbus,  son  of 
Panthus,  who  perished  at  the  hands  of  Menelaus  in  the  Trojan  war;  (c)  Hermotimus,  a  prophet  of 
Clazomenae,  a  city  of  Ionia;  (d)  a  humble  fisherman;  and  finally  (e)  the  philosopher  of  Samos." 

Pythagoras  also  taught  that  each  species  of  creatures  had  what  he  termed  a  seal,  given  to  it  by  God, 
and  that  the  physical  form  of  each  was  the  impression  of  this  seal  upon  the  wax  of  physical  substance. 
Thus  each  body  was  stamped  with  the  dignity  of  its  divinely  given  pattern.  Pythagoras  believed  that 
ultimately  man  would  reach  a  state  where  he  would  cast  off  his  gross  nature  and  function  in  a  body  of 
spiritualized  ether  which  would  be  in  juxtaposition  to  his  physical  form  at  all  times  and  which  might 
be  the  eighth  sphere,  or  Antichthon.  From  this  he  would  ascend  into  the  realm  of  the  immortals, 
where  by  divine  birthright  he  belonged. 

Pythagoras  taught  that  everything  in  nature  was  divisible  into  three  parts  and  that  no  one  could 
become  truly  wise  who  did  not  view  every  problem  as  being  diagrammatically  triangular.  He  said, 
"Establish  the  triangle  and  the  problem  is  two-thirds  solved";  further,  "All  things  consist  of  three."  In 
conformity  with  this  viewpoint,  Pythagoras  divided  the  universe  into  three  parts,  which  he  called  the 
Supreme  World,  the  Superior  World,  and  the  Inferior  World.  The  highest,  or  Supreme  World,  was  a 
subtle,  interpenetrative  spiritual  essence  pervading  all  things  and  therefore  the  true  plane  of  the 
Supreme  Deity  itself,  the  Deity  being  in  every  sense  omnipresent,  omniactive,  omnipotent,  and 
omniscient.  Both  of  the  lower  worlds  existed  within  the  nature  of  this  supreme  sphere. 

The  Superior  Worid  was  the  home  of  the  immortals.  It  was  also  the  dwelling  place  of  the  archetypes, 

or  the  seals;  their  natures  in  no  manner  partook  of  the  material  of  earthiness,  but  they,  casting  their 
shadows  upon  the  deep  (the  Inferior  World),  were  cognizable  only  through  their  shadows.  The  third, 
or  Inferior  World,  was  the  home  of  those  creatures  who  partook  of  material  substance  or  were 
engaged  in  labor  with  or  upon  material  substance.  Hence,  this  sphere  was  the  home  of  the  mortal 
gods,  the  Demiurgi,  the  angels  who  labor  with  men;  also  the  dsemons  who  partake  of  the  nature  of  the 
earth;  and  finally  mankind  and  the  lower  kingdoms,  those  temporarily  of  the  earth  but  capable  of 
rising  above  that  sphere  by  reason  and  philosophy. 

The  digits  i  and  2  are  not  considered  numbers  by  the  Pythagoreans,  because  they  typify  the  two 
supermundane  spheres.  The  Pythagorean  numbers,  therefore,  begin  with  3,  the  triangle,  and  4,  the 
square.  These  added  to  the  1  and  the  2,  produce  the  10,  the  great  number  of  all  things,  the  archetype 
of  the  universe.  The  three  worlds  were  called  receptacles.  The  first  was  the  receptacle  of  principles, 
the  second  was  the  receptacle  of  intelligences,  and  the  third,  or  lowest,  was  the  receptacle  of 

"The  symmetrical  solids  were  regarded  by  Pythagoras,  and  by  the  Greek  thinkers  after  him,  as  of  the 
greatest  importance.  To  be  perfectly  symmetrical  or  regular,  a  solid  must  have  an  equal  number  of 
faces  meeting  at  each  of  its  angles,  and  these  faces  must  be  equal  regular  polygons,  i.  e.,  figures  whose 
sides  and  angles  are  all  equal.  Pythagoras,  perhaps,  may  be  credited  with  the  great  discovery  that 
there  are  only  five  such  solids.*  *  * 

'Now,  the  Greeks  believed  the  world  [material  universe]  to  be  composed  of  four  elements—earth,  air, 
fire,  water—and  to  the  Greek  mind  the  conclusion  was  inevitable  that  the  shapes  of  the  particles  of  the 
elements  were  those  of  the  regular  solids.  Earth-particles  were  cubical,  the  cube  being  the  regular 
solid  possessed  of  greatest  stability;  fire-particles  were  tetrahedral,  the  tetrahedron  being  the  simplest 
and,  hence,  lightest  solid.  Water-particles  were  icosahedral  for  exactly  the  reverse  reason,  whilst  air- 
particles,  as  intermediate  between  the  two  latter,  were  octahedral.  The  dodecahedron  was,  to  these 
ancient  mathematicians,  the  most  mysterious  of  the  solids;  it  was  by  far  the  most  difficult  to  construct, 
the  accurate  drav^ng  of  the  regular  pentagon  necessitating  a  rather  elaborate  application  of 
Pythagoras'  great  theorem.  Hence  the  conclusion,  as  Plato  put  it,  that  'this  (the  regular  dodecahedron) 
the  Deity  employed  in  tracing  the  plan  of  the  Universe.'  (H.  Stanley  Redgrove,  in  Bygone  Beliefs.) 

Mr.  Redgrove  has  not  mentioned  the  fifth  element  of  the  ancient  Mysteries,  that  which  would  make 
the  analogy  between  the  symmetrical  solids  and  the  elements  complete.  This  fifth  element,  or  ether, 
was  called  by  the  Hindus  akasa.  It  was  closely  correlated  with  the  hypothetical  ether  of  modern 
science,  and  was  the  interpenetrative  substance  permeating  all  of  the  other  elements  and  acting  as  a 
common  solvent  and  common  denominator  of  them.  The  twelve-faced  solid  also  subtly  referred  to  the 
Twelve  Immortals  who  surfaced  the  universe,  and  also  to  the  twelve  convolutions  of  the  human  brain- 
-the  vehicles  of  those  Immortals  in  the  nature  of  man. 

While  Pythagoras,  in  accordance  with  others  of  his  day,  practiced  divination  (possibly  arithmomancy), 
there  is  no  accurate  information  concerning  the  methods  which  he  used.  He  is  believed  to  have  had  a 
remarkable  wheel  by  means  of  which  he  could  predict  future  events,  and  to  have  learned  hydromancy 
from  the  Egyptians.  He  believed  that  brass  had  oracular  powers,  because  even  when  everything  was 
perfectly  still  there  was  always  a  rumbling  sound  in  brass  bowls.  He  once  addressed  a  prayer  to  the 
spirit  of  a  river  and  out  of  the  water  arose  a  voice,  "Pythagoras,  I  greet  thee."  It  is  claimed  for  him  that 
he  was  able  to  cause  demons  to  enter  into  water  and  disturb  its  surface,  and  by  means  of  the 
agitations  certain  things  were  predicted. 

After  having  drunk  from  a  certain  spring  one  day,  one  of  the  Masters  of  Pythagoras  announced  that 

the  spirit  of  the  water  had  just  predicted  that  a  great  earthquake  would  occur  the  next  day— a 
prophecy  which  was  fulfilled.  It  is  highly  probable  that  Pythagoras  possessed  hypnotic  power,  not 

only  over  man  but  also  over  animals.  He  caused  a  bird  to  change  the  course  of  its  flight,  a  bear  to 
cease  its  ravages  upon  a  community,  and  a  bull  to  change  its  diet,  by  the  exercise  of  mental  influence. 
He  was  also  gifted  with  second  sight,  being  able  to  see  things  at  a  distance  and  accurately  describe 
incidents  that  had  not  yet  come  to  pass. 


lamblichus  gathered  thirty-nine  of  the  symbolic  sayings  of  Pythagoras  and  interpreted  them.  These 
have  been  translated  from  the  Greek  by  Thomas  Taylor.  Aphorismic  statement  was  one  of  the  favorite 
methods  of  instruction  used  in  the  Pythagorean  university  of  Crotona.  Ten  of  the  most  representative 
of  these  aphorisms  are  reproduced  below  with  a  brief  elucidation  of  their  concealed  meanings. 

I.  Declining  from  the  public  ways,  walk  in  unfrequented  paths.  By  this  it  is  to  be  understood  that 
those  who  desire  wisdom  must  seek  it  in  solitude. 


J-  I 


Pythagoras  taught  that  the  dot  symbohzed  the  power  of  the  number  i,  the  hne  the  power  of  the  number  2,  the  surface  the 
power  of  the  number  3,  and  the  soUd  the  power  of  the  number  4. 

p.  68 

n.  Govern  your  tongue  before  all  other  things,  following  the  gods.  This  aphorism  warns  man  that  his 
words,  instead  of  representing  him,  misrepresent  him,  and  that  when  in  doubt  as  to  what  he  should 
say,  he  should  always  be  silent. 

III.  The  wind  blowing,  adore  the  sound.  Pythagoras  here  reminds  his  disciples  that  the  fiat  of  God  is 
heard  in  the  voice  of  the  elements,  and  that  all  things  in  Nature  manifest  through  harmony,  rhythm, 
order,  or  procedure  the  attributes  of  the  Deity. 

IV.  Assist  a  man  in  raising  a  burden;  but  do  not  assist  him  in  laying  it  down.  The  student  is 
instructed  to  aid  the  diligent  but  never  to  assist  those  who  seek  to  evade  their  responsibilities,  for  it  is 
a  great  sin  to  encourage  indolence. 

V.  Speak  not  about  Pythagoric  concerns  without  light.  The  world  is  herein  warned  that  it  should  not 
attempt  to  interpret  the  mysteries  of  God  and  the  secrets  of  the  sciences  without  spiritual  and 
intellectual  illumination. 

VI.  Having  departed  from  your  house,  turn  not  back,  for  the  furies  will  be  your  attendants. 
Pythagoras  here  warns  his  followers  that  any  who  begin  the  search  for  truth  and,  after  having  learned 
part  of  the  mystery,  become  discouraged  and  attempt  to  return  again  to  their  former  ways  of  vice  and 
ignorance,  will  suffer  exceedingly;  for  it  is  better  to  know  nothing  about  Divinity  than  to  learn  a  little 
and  then  stop  without  learning  all. 

VII.  Nourish  a  cock,  but  sacrifice  it  not;  for  it  is  sacred  to  the  sun  and  moon.  Two  great  lessons  are 
concealed  in  this  aphorism.  The  first  is  a  warning  against  the  sacrifice  of  living  things  to  the  gods, 
because  life  is  sacred  and  man  should  not  destroy  it  even  as  an  offering  to  the  Deity.  The  second 
warns  man  that  the  human  body  here  referred  to  as  a  cock  is  sacred  to  the  sun  (God)  and  the  moon 
(Nature),  and  should  be  guarded  and  preserved  as  man's  most  precious  medium  of  expression. 
Pythagoras  also  warned  his  disciples  against  suicide. 

VIII.  Receive  not  a  swallow  into  your  house.  This  warns  the  seeker  after  truth  not  to  allow  drifting 
thoughts  to  come  into  his  mind  nor  shiftless  persons  to  enter  into  his  life.  He  must  ever  surround 
himself  with  rationally  inspired  thinkers  and  with  conscientious  workers. 

IX.  Offer  not  your  right  hand  easily  to  anyone.  This  warns  the  disciple  to  keep  his  own  counsel  and 
not  offer  wisdom  and  knowledge  (his  right  hand)  to  such  as  are  incapable  of  appreciating  them.  The 
hand  here  represents  Truth,  which  raises  those  who  have  fallen  because  of  ignorance;  but  as  many  of 
the  unregenerate  do  not  desire  wisdom  they  will  cut  off  the  hand  that  is  extended  in  kindness  to  them. 
Time  alone  can  effect  the  redemption  of  the  ignorant  masses 

X.  When  rising  from  the  bedclothes,  roll  them  together,  and  obliterate  the  impression  of  the  body. 
Pythagoras  directed  his  disciples  who  had  awakened  from  the  sleep  of  ignorance  into  the  waking  state 
of  intelligence  to  eliminate  from  their  recollection  all  memory  of  their  former  spiritual  darkness;  for  a 
wise  man  in  passing  leaves  no  form  behind  him  which  others  less  intelligent,  seeing,  shall  use  as  a 
mold  for  the  casting  of  idols. 

The  most  famous  of  the  Pythagorean  fragments  are  the  Golden  Verses,  ascribed  to  Pythagoras  himself, 
but  concerning  whose  authorship  there  is  an  element  of  doubt.  The  Golden  Verses  contain  a  brief 
summary  of  the  entire  system  of  philosophy  forming  the  basis  of  the  educational  doctrines  of  Crotona, 
or,  as  it  is  more  commonly  known,  the  Italic  School.  These  verses  open  by  counseling  the  reader  to 
love  God,  venerate  the  great  heroes,  and  respect  the  deemons  and  elemental  inhabitants.  They  then 
urge  man  to  think  carefully  and  industriously  concerning  his  daily  life,  and  to  prefer  the  treasures  of 
the  mind  and  soul  to  accumulations  of  earthly  goods.  The  verses  also  promise  man  that  if  he  will  rise 
above  his  lower  material  nature  and  cultivate  self-control,  he  will  ultimately  be  acceptable  in  the  sight 
of  the  gods,  be  reunited  with  them,  and  partake  of  their  immortality.  (It  is  rather  significant  to  note 
that  Plato  paid  a  great  price  for  some  of  the  manuscripts  of  Pjlihagoras  which  had  been  saved  from 
the  destruction  of  Crotona.  See  Historia  Deorum  Fatidicorum,  Geneva,  1675.) 


According  to  Pythagoras,  the  position  of  each  body  in  the  universe  was  determined  by  the  essential 
dignity  of  that  body.  The  popular  concept  of  his  day  was  that  the  earth  occupied  the  center  of  the  solar 
system;  that  the  planets,  including  the  sun  and  moon,  moved  about  the  earth;  and  that  the  earth  itself 
was  flat  and  square.  Contrary  to  this  concept,  and  regardless  of  criticism,  Pjlihagoras  declared  that 
fire  was  the  most  important  of  all  the  elements;  that  the  center  was  the  most  important  part  of  every 
body;  and  that,  just  as  Vesta's  fire  was  in  the  midst  of  every  home,  so  in  the  midst  of  the  universe  was 
a  flaming  sphere  of  celestial  radiance.  This  central  globe  he  called  the  Tower  of  Jupiter,  the  Globe  of 
Unity,  the  Grand  Monad,  and  the  Altar  of  Vesta.  As  the  sacred  number  lo  symbolized  the  sum  of  all 
parts  and  the  completeness  of  all  things,  it  was  only  natural  for  Pythagoras  to  divide  the  universe  into 
ten  spheres,  symbolized  by  ten  concentric  circles.  These  circles  began  at  the  center  with  the  globe  of 
Divine  Fire;  then  came  the  seven  planers,  the  earth,  and  another  mysterious  planet,  caWed  Antichthon, 
which  was  never  visible. 

Opinions  differ  as  to  the  nature  of  Antichthon.  Clement  of  Alexandria  believed  that  it  represented  the 
mass  of  the  heavens;  others  held  the  opinion  that  it  was  the  moon.  More  probably  it  was  the 
mysterious  eighth  sphere  of  the  ancients,  the  dark  planet  which  moved  in  the  same  orbit  as  the  earth 
but  which  was  always  concealed  from  the  earth  by  the  body  of  the  sun,  being  in  exact  opposition  to 
the  earth  at  all  times.  Is  this  the  mysterious  Lilith  concerning  which  astrologers  have  speculated  so 

Isaac  Myer  has  stated:  "The  Pythagoreans  held  that  each  star  was  a  world  having  its  own  atmosphere, 
with  an  immense  extent  surrounding  it,  of  aether."  (See  The  Qabbalah.)  The  disciples  of  Pythagoras 
also  highly  revered  the  planet  Venus,  because  it  was  the  only  planet  bright  enough  to  cast  a  shadow. 
As  the  morning  star,  Venus  is  visible  before  sunrise,  and  as  the  evening  star  it  shines  forth 
immediately  after  sunset.  Because  of  these  qualities,  a  number  of  names  have  been  given  to  it  by  the 
ancients.  Being  visible  in  the  sky  at  sunset,  it  was  called  vesper,  and  as  it  arose  before  the  sun,  it  was 
called  the  false  light,  the  star  of  the  morning,  or  Lucifer,  which  means  the  light-bearer.  Because  of 
this  relation  to  the  sun,  the  planet  was  also  referred  to  as  Venus,  Astarte,  Aphrodite,  Isis,  and  The 
Mother  of  the  Gods.  It  is  possible  that:  at  some  seasons  of  the  year  in  certain  latitudes  the  fact  that 
Venus  was  a  crescent  could  be  detected  without  the  aid  of  a  telescope.  This  would  account  for  the 
crescent  which  is  often  seen  in  connection  with  the  goddesses  of  antiquity,  the  stories  of  which  do  not 
agree  with  the  phases  of  the  moon.  The  accurate  knowledge  which  Pythagoras  possessed  concerning 
astronomy  he  undoubtedly  secured  in  the  Egyptian  temples,  for  their  priests  understood  the  true 
relationship  of  the  heavenly  bodies  many  thousands  of  years  before  that  knowledge  was  revealed  to 
the  uninitiated  world.  The  fact  that  the  knowledge  he  acquired  in  the  temples  enabled  him  to  make 
assertions  requiring  two  thousand  years  to  check  proves  why  Plato  and  Aristotle  so  highly  esteemed 
the  profundity  of  the  ancient  Mysteries.  In  the  midst  of  comparative  scientific  ignorance,  and  without 
the  aid  of  any  modern  instruments,  the  priest-philosophers  had  discovered  the  true  fundamentals  of 
universal  dynamics. 

An  interesting  application  of  the  Pythagorean  doctrine  of  geometric  solids  as  expounded  by  Plato  is 
found  in  The  Canon.  "Nearly  all  the  old  philosophers,"  says  its  anonymous  author,  "devised  an 
harmonic  theory  with  respect  to  the  universe,  and  the  practice  continued  till  the  old  mode  of 
philosophizing  died  out.  Kepler  (1596),  in  order  to  demonstrate  the  Platonic  doctrine,  that  the 
universe  was  formed  of  the  five  regular  solids,  proposed  the  following  rule.  'The  earth  is  a  circle,  the 
measurer  of  all.  Round  it  describe  a  dodecahedron;  the  circle  inclosing  this  will  be  Mars.  Round  Mars 
describe  a  tetrahedron;  the  sphere  inclosing  this  will  be  Jupiter.  Describe  a  cube  round  Jupiter;  the 
sphere  containing  this  will  be  Saturn.  Now  inscribe  in  the  earth  an  icosahedron;  the  circle  inscribed  in 
it  will  be  Venus.  Inscribe  an  octahedron  in  Venus;  the  circle  inscribed  in  it  will  be  Mercury' 
(Mysterium  Cosmographicum,  1596).  This  rule  cannot  be  taken  seriously  as  a  real  statement  of  the 
proportions  of  the  cosmos,  fox  it  bears  no  real  resemblance  to  the  ratios  published  by  Copernicus  in 

the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century.  Yet  Kepler  was  very  proud  of  his  formula,  and  said  he  valued  it 
more  than  the  Electorate  of  Saxony.  It  was  also  approved  by  those  two  eminent  authorities,  Tycho 
and  Galileo,  who  evidently  understood  it.  Kepler  himself  never  gives  the  least  hint  of  how  his  precious 
rule  is  to  be  interpreted."  Platonic  astronomy  was  not  concerned  with  the  material  constitution  or 
arrangement  of  the  heavenly  bodies,  but  considered  the  stars  and  planers  primarily  as  focal  points  of 
Divine  intelligence.  Physical  astronomy  was  regarded  as  the  science  of  "shadows,"  philosophical 
astronomy  the  science  of  "realities." 


Theon  of  Smyrna  declares  that  the  ten  dots,  or  tetractys  of  Pj^hagoras,  was  a  symbol  of  the  greatest  importance,  for  to  the 
discerning  mind  it  revealed  the  mystery  of  universal  nature.  The  Pythagoreans  bound  themselves  by  the  following  oath: 
"By  Him  who  gave  to  our  soul  the  tetractys,  which  hath  the  fountain  and  root  of  ever-springing  nature." 


By  connecting  the  ten  dots  of  the  tetractys,  nine  triangles  are  formed.  Six  of  these  are  involved  in  the  forming  of  the  cube. 
The  same  triangles,  when  lines  are  properly  drawn  between  them,  also  reveal  the  six-pointed  star  with  a  dot  in  the  center. 
Only  seven  dots  are  used  in  forming  the  cube  and  the  star.  Qabbalistically,  the  three  unused  corner  dots  represent  the 
threefold,  invisible  causal  nature  of  the  universe,  while  the  seven  dots  involved  in  the  cube  and  the  star  are  the  Elohim— 
the  Spirits  of  the  seven  creative  periods.  The  Sabbath,  or  seventh  day,  is  the  central  dot. 

p.  69 

Pythagorean  Mathematics 

CONCERNING  the  secret  significance  of  numbers  there  has  been  much  speculation.  Though  many 
interesting  discoveries  have  been  made,  it  may  be  safely  said  that  with  the  death  of  Pythagoras  the 
great  key  to  this  science  was  lost.  For  nearly  2500  years  philosophers  of  all  nations  have  attempted  to 
unravel  the  Pythagorean  skein,  but  apparently  none  has  been  successful.  Notwithstanding  attempts 
made  to  obliterate  all  records  of  the  teachings  of  Pythagoras,  fragments  have  survived  which  give 
clues  to  some  of  the  simpler  parts  of  his  philosophy.  The  major  secrets  were  never  committed  to 
writing,  but  were  communicated  orally  to  a  few  chosen  disciples.  These  apparently  dated  not  divulge 
their  secrets  to  the  profane,  the  result  being  that  when  death  sealed  their  lips  the  arcana  died  with 

Certain  of  the  secret  schools  in  the  world  today  are  perpetuations  of  the  ancient  Mysteries,  and 
although  it  is  quite  possible  that  they  may  possess  some  of  the  original  numerical  formula,  there  is  no 
evidence  of  it  in  the  voluminous  writings  which  have  issued  from  these  groups  during  the  last  five 
hundred  years.  These  writings,  while  frequently  discussing  Pythagoras,  show  no  indication  of  a  more 
complete  knowledge  of  his  intricate  doctrines  than  the  post- Pythagorean  Greek  speculators  had,  who 
talked  much,  wrote  little,  knew  less,  and  concealed  their  ignorance  under  a  series  of  mysterious  hints 
and  promises.  Here  and  there  among  the  literary  products  of  early  writers  are  found  enigmatic 
statements  which  they  made  no  effort:  to  interpret.  The  following  example  is  quoted  from  Plutarch: 

"The  Pythagoreans  indeed  go  farther  than  this,  and  honour  even  numbers  and  geometrical  diagrams 
with  the  names  and  titles  of  the  gods.  Thus  they  call  the  equilateral  triangle  head-born  Minerva  and 
Tritogenia,  because  it  may  be  equally  divided  by  three  perpendiculars  drawn  from  each  of  the  angles. 
So  the  unit  they  term  Apollo,  as  to  the  number  two  they  have  affixed  the  name  of  strife  and 
audaciousness,  and  to  that  of  three,  justice.  For,  as  doing  an  injury  is  an  extreme  on  the  one  side,  and 
suffering  one  is  an  extreme  on  the  on  the  one  side,  and  suffering  in  the  middle  between  them.  In  like 
manner  the  number  thirty-six,  their  Tetractys,  or  sacred  Quaternion,  being  composed  of  the  first  four 
odd  numbers  added  to  the  first  four  even  ones,  as  is  commonly  reported,  is  looked  upon  by  them  as 
the  most  solemn  oath  they  can  take,  and  called  Kosmos."  (Isis  and  Osiris.) 

Earlier  in  the  same  work,  Plutarch  also  notes:  "For  as  the  power  of  the  triangle  is  expressive  of  the 
nature  of  Pluto,  Bacchus,  and  Mars;  and  the  properties  of  the  square  of  Rhea,  Venus,  Ceres,  Vesta, 
and  Juno;  of  the  Dodecahedron  of  Jupiter;  so,  as  we  are  informed  by  Eudoxus,  is  the  figure  of  fifty-six 
angles  expressive  of  the  nature  of  Typhon."  Plutarch  did  not  pretend  to  explain  the  inner  significance 
of  the  symbols,  but  believed  that  the  relationship  which  Pythagoras  established  between  the 
geometrical  solids  and  the  gods  was  the  result  of  images  the  great  sage  had  seen  in  the  Egyptian 

Albert  Pike,  the  great  Masonic  symbolist,  admitted  that  there  were  many  points  concerning  which  he 
could  secure  no  reliable  information.  In  his  Symbolism,  for  the  32°  and  33°,  he  wrote:  "I  do  not 
understand  why  the  7  should  be  called  Minerva,  or  the  cube,  Neptune."  Further  on  he  added: 
"Undoubtedly  the  names  given  by  the  Pythagoreans  to  the  different  numbers  were  themselves 
enigmatical  and  symbolic-and  there  is  little  doubt  that  in  the  time  of  Plutarch  the  meanings  these 
names  concealed  were  lost.  Pythagoras  had  succeeded  too  well  in  concealing  his  symbols  with  a  veil 
that  was  from  the  first  impenetrable,  without  his  oral  explanation  *  *  *." 

This  uncertainty  shared  by  all  true  students  of  the  subject  proves  conclusively  that  it  is  unwise  to 
make  definite  statements  founded  on  the  indefinite  and  fragmentary  information  available 
concerning  the  Pythagorean  system  of  mathematical  philosophy.  The  material  which  follows 

represents  an  effort  to  collect  a  few  salient  points  from  the  scattered  records  preserved  by  disciples  of 
Pjlihagoras  and  others  who  have  since  contacted  his  philosophy. 


The  first  step  in  obtaining  the  numerical  value  of  a  word  is  to  resolve  it  back  into  its  original  tongue. 
Only  words  of  Greek  or  Hebrew  derivation  can  be  successfully  analyzed  by  this  method,  and  all  words 
must  be  spelled  in  their  most  ancient  and  complete  forms.  Old  Testament  words  and  names, 
therefore,  must  be  translated  back  into  the  early  Hebrew  characters  and  New  Testament  words  into 
the  Greek.  Two  examples  v^U  help  to  clarify  this  principle. 

The  Demiurgus  of  the  Jews  is  called  in  English  Jehovah,  but  when  seeking  the  numerical  value  of  the 
name  Jehovah  it  is  necessary  to  resolve  the  name  into  its  Hebrew  letters.  It  becomes  mn%  and  is  read 
from  right  to  left.  The  Hebrew  letters  are:  n.  He;  %  Vau;  n.  He;  %  Yod;  and  when  reversed  into  the 
English  order  from  left  to  right  read:  Yod-He-Vau-He.  By  consulting  the  foregoing  table  of  letter 
values,  it  is  found  that  the  four  characters  of  this  sacred  name  have  the  following  numerical 
significance:  Yod  equals  lo.  He  equals  5,  Vau  equals  6,  and  the  second  He  equals  5.  Therefore, 
10+5+6+5=26,  a  synonym  of  Jehovah.  If  the  English  letters  were  used,  the  answer  obviously  would 
not  be  correct. 

The  second  example  is  the  mysterious  Gnostic  pantheos  Abraxas.  For  this  name  the  Greek  table  is 
used.  Abraxas  in  Greek  is  A^paEjaq.  A  =  1,  P  =  2,  p  =  100,  a  =  1,  ^  =60,  a  =  1,  g  =  200,  the  sum  being 
365,  the  number  of  days  in  the  year.  This  number  furnishes  the  key  to  the  mystery  of  Abraxas,  who  is 
symbolic  of  the  365  ^^lons,  or  Spirits  of  the  Days,  gathered  together  in  one  composite  personality. 
Abraxas  is  symbolic  of  five  creatures,  and  as  the  circle  of  the  year  actually  consists  of  360  degrees, 
each  of  the  emanating  deities  is  one-fifth  of  this  power,  or  72,  one  of  the  most  sacred  numbers  in  the 
Old  Testament  of  the  Jews  and  in  their  Qabbalistic  system.  This  same  method  is  used  in  finding  the 
numerical  value  of  the  names  of  the  gods  and  goddesses  of  the  Greeks  and  Jews. 

All  higher  numbers  can  be  reduced  to  one  of  the  original  ten  numerals,  and  the  10  itself  to  1. 
Therefore,  all  groups  of  numbers  resulting  from  the  translation  of  names  of  deities  into  their 
numerical  equivalents  have  a  basis  in  one  of  the  first  ten  numbers.  By  this  system,  in  which  the  digits 
are  added  together,  666  becomes  6+6+6  or  18,  and  this,  in  turn,  becomes  1+8  or  9.  According  to 
Revelation,  144,000  are  to  be  saved.  This  number  becomes  1+4+4+0+0+0,  which  equals  9,  thus 
proving  that  both  the  Beast  of  Babylon  and  the  number  of  the  saved  refer  to  man  himself,  whose 
symbol  is  the  number  9.  This  system  can  be  used  successfully  with  both  Greek  and  Hebrew  letter 

The  original  Pjlihagorean  system  of  numerical  philosophy  contains  nothing  to  justify  the  practice  now 
in  vogue  of  changing  the  given  name  or  surname  in  the  hope  of  improving  the  temperament  or 
financial  condition  by  altering  the  name  vibrations. 

There  is  also  a  system  of  calculation  in  vogue  for  the  English  language,  but  its  accuracy  is  a  matter  of 
legitimate  dispute.  It  is  comparatively  modern  and  has  no  relationship  either  to  the  Hebrew 
Qabbalistic  system  or  to  the  Greek  procedure.  The  claim  made  by  some  that  it  is  Pythagorean  is  not 
supported  by  any  tangible  evidence,  and  there  are  many  reasons  why  such  a  contention  is  untenable. 
The  fact  that  Pythagoras  used  10  as  the  basis  of  calculation,  while  this  system  uses  9~an  imperfect 
number —is  in  itself  almost  conclusive.  Furthermore,  the  arrangement  of  the  Greek  and  Hebrew 
letters  does  not  agree  closely  enough  with  the  English  to  permit  the  application  of  the  number 
sequences  of  one  language  to  the  number  sequences  of  the  others.  Further  experimentation  with 







A  a 




r  V 
1  7 




U  JJt^ll  1 

A  3 




±f  p 







/j- 1 1 1 1 





1 IL  [[l 



n  n 







1  1 


IT  „ 




rl!  rt 







AT  M4+ 



in  r 






*J  0 


TT  r 


p  ■ 







P  a 







^tl  L[L 






















From  Higgins'  Celtic  Druids. 


1  Names  of  the  Hebrew  letters. 

2  Samaritan  Letters. 

3  Hebrew  and  Chaldean  letters. 

4  Numerical  equivalents  of  the  letters. 

5  Capital  and  small  Greek  letters. 

6  The  letters  marked  with  asterisks  are  those  brought  to  Greece  from  Phoenicia  by  Cadmus. 

7  Name  of  the  Greek  letters. 

8  Nearest  English  equivalents  to  the  Hebrew,  Greek,  and  Samaritan  Letters. 

NOTE.  When  used  at  the  end  of  a  word,  the  Hebrew  Tau  has  the  numerical  value  440,  Caph  500,  Mem  600,  Nun  700,  Pe 
800,  Tzadi  900.  A  dotted  AZpfta  and  a  dashed  AZep/i  have  the  value  of  1,000. 

p.  70 

the  system  may  prove  profitable,  but  it  is  without  basis  in  antiquity.  The  arrangement  of  the  letters 
and  numbers  is  as  follows: 















The  letters  under  each  of  the  numbers  have  the  value  of  the  figure  at:  the  top  of  the  column.  Thus,  in 
the  word  man,  M  =  4,A  =  i,N=  5:  a.  total  of  10.  The  values  of  the  numbers  are  practically  the  same  as 
those  given  by  the  Pythagorean  system. 


(The  following  outline  of  Pythagorean  mathematics  is  a  paraphrase  of  the  opening  chapters  of 
Thomas  Taylor's  Theoretic  Arithmetic,  the  rarest  and  most  important  compilation  of  Pythagorean 
mathematical  fragments  extant.) 

The  Pythagoreans  declared  arithmetic  to  be  the  mother  of  the  mathematical  sciences.  This  is  proved 
by  the  fact  that  geometry,  music,  and  astronomy  are  dependent  upon  it  but  it  is  not  dependent  upon 
them.  Thus,  geometry  may  be  removed  but  arithmetic  will  remain;  but  if  arithmetic  be  removed, 
geometry  is  eliminated.  In  the  same  manner  music  depends  upon  arithmetic,  but  the  elimination  of 
music  affects  arithmetic  only  by  limiting  one  of  its  expressions.  The  Pythagoreans  also  demonstrated 
arithmetic  to  be  prior  to  astronomy,  for  the  latter  is  dependent  upon  both  geometry  and  music.  The 
size,  form,  and  motion  of  the  celestial  bodies  is  determined  by  the  use  of  geometry;  their  harmony 
and  rhythm  by  the  use  of  music.  If  astronomy  be  removed,  neither  geometry  nor  music  is  injured;  but 
if  geometry  and  music  be  eliminated,  astronomy  is  destroyed.  The  priority  of  both  geometry  and 
music  to  astronomy  is  therefore  established.  Arithmetic,  however,  is  prior  to  all;  it  is  primary  and 

Pythagoras  instructed  his  disciples  that  the  science  of  mathematics  is  divided  into  two  major  parts. 
The  first  is  concerned  with  the  multitude,  or  the  constituent  parts  of  a  thing,  and  the  second  with  the 
magnitude,  or  the  relative  size  or  density  of  a  thing. 

Magnitude  is  divided  into  two  parts—magnitude  which  is  stationary  and  magnitude  which  is  movable, 
the  stationary  pare  having  priority.  Multitude  is  also  divided  into  two  parts,  for  it  is  related  both  to 
itself  and  to  other  things,  the  first  relationship  having  priority.  Pythagoras  assigned  the  science  of 
arithmetic  to  multitude  related  to  itself,  and  the  art  of  music  to  multitude  related  to  other  things. 
Geometry  likewise  was  assigned  to  stationary  magnitude,  and  spherics  (used  partly  in  the  sense  of 
astronomy)  to  movable  magnitude.  Both  multitude  and  magnitude  were  circumscribed  by  the 
circumference  of  mind.  The  atomic  theory  has  proved  size  to  be  the  result  of  number,  for  a  mass  is 
made  up  of  minute  units  though  mistaken  by  the  uninformed  for  a  single  simple  substance. 

Owing  to  the  fragmentary  condition  of  existing  Pythagorean  records,  it  is  difficult  to  arrive  at  exact 
definitions  of  terms.  Before  it  is  possible,  however,  to  unfold  the  subject  further  some  light  must  he 
cast  upon  the  meanings  of  the  words  number,  monad,  and  one. 

The  monad  signifies  (a)  the  all-including  ONE.  The  Pythagoreans  called  the  monad  the  "noble 
number.  Sire  of  Gods  and  men."  The  monad  also  signifies  (b)  the  sum  of  any  combination  of  numbers 
considered  as  a  whole.  Thus,  the  universe  is  considered  as  a  monad,  but  the  individual  parts  of  the 
universe  (such  as  the  planets  and  elements)  are  monads  in  relation  to  the  parts  of  which  they 

themselves  are  composed,  though  they,  in  turn,  are  parts  of  the  greater  monad  formed  of  their  sum. 

The  monad  may  also  be  likened  (c)  to  the  seed  of  a  tree  which,  when  it  has  grown,  has  many  branches 
(the  numbers).  In  other  words,  the  numbers  are  to  the  monad  what  the  branches  of  the  tree  are  to  the 
seed  of  the  tree.  From  the  study  of  the  mysterious  Pythagorean  monad,  Leibnitz  evolved  his 
magnificent  theory  of  the  world  atoms—a  theory  in  perfect  accord  with  the  ancient  teachings  of  the 
Mysteries,  for  Leibnitz  himself  was  an  initiate  of  a  secret  school.  By  some  Pythagoreans  the  monad  is 
also  considered  (d)  synonymous  with  the  one. 

Number  is  the  term  applied  to  all  numerals  and  their  combinations.  (A  strict  interpretation  of  the 
term  number  by  certain  of  the  Pythagoreans  excludes  i  and  2.)  Pythagoras  defines  number  to  be  the 
extension  and  energy  of  the  spermatic  reasons  contained  in  the  monad.  The  followers  of  Hippasus 
declared  number  to  be  the  first  pattern  used  by  the  Demiurgus  in  the  formation  of  the  universe. 

The  one  was  defined  by  the  Platonists  as  "the  summit  of  the  many."  The  one  differs  from  the  monad 
in  that  the  term  monad  is  used  to  designate  the  sum  of  the  parts  considered  as  a  unit,  whereas  the  one 
is  the  term  applied  to  each  of  its  integral  parts. 

There  are  two  orders  of  number:  odd  and  even.  Because  unity,  or  1,  always  remains  indivisible,  the 
odd  number  cannot  be  divided  equally.  Thus,  9  is  4+1+4,  the  unity  in  the  center  being  indivisible. 
Furthermore,  if  any  odd  number  be  divided  into  two  parts,  one  part  will  always  be  odd  and  the  other 
even.  Thus,  9  may  be  5+4,  3+6,  7+2,  or  8+1.  The  Pythagoreans  considered  the  odd  number —of  which 
the  monad  was  the  prototype—to  be  definite  and  masculine.  They  were  not  all  agreed,  however,  as  to 
the  nature  of  unity,  or  1.  Some  declared  it  to  be  positive,  because  if  added  to  an  even  (negative) 
number,  it  produces  an  odd  (positive)  number.  Others  demonstrated  that  if  unity  be  added  to  an  odd 
number,  the  latter  becomes  even,  thereby  making  the  masculine  to  be  feminine.  Unity,  or  1,  therefore, 
was  considered  an  androgynous  number,  partaking  of  both  the  masculine  and  the  feminine  attributes; 
consequently  both  odd  and  even.  For  this  reason  the  Pythagoreans  called  it  evenly-odd.  It  was 
customary  for  the  Pythagoreans  to  offer  sacrifices  of  an  uneven  number  of  objects  to  the  superior 
gods,  while  to  the  goddesses  and  subterranean  spirits  an  even  number  was  offered. 

Any  even  number  may  be  divided  into  two  equal  parts,  which  are  always  either  both  odd  or  both  even. 
Thus,  10  by  equal  division  gives  5+5,  both  odd  numbers.  The  same  principle  holds  true  if  the  10  be 
unequally  divided.  For  example,  in  6+4,  both  parts  are  even;  in  7+3,  both  parts  are  odd;  in  8+2,  both 
parts  are  again  even;  and  in  9+1,  both  parts  are  again  odd.  Thus,  in  the  even  number,  however  it  may 
be  divided,  the  parts  will  always  be  both  odd  or  both  even.  The  Pythagoreans  considered  the  even 
number-of  which  the  duad  was  the  prototype— to  be  indefinite  and  feminine. 

The  odd  numbers  are  divided  by  a  mathematical  contrivance— called  "the  Sieve  of  Eratosthenes"— into 
three  general  classes:  incomposite,  composite,  and  incomposite-composite. 

The  incomposite  numbers  are  those  which  have  no  divisor  other  than  themselves  and  unity,  such  as  3, 
5,  7, 11, 13, 17, 19,  23,  29,  31, 37, 41, 43,  47,  and  so  forth.  For  example,  7  is  divisible  only  by  7,  which 
goes  into  itself  once,  and  unity,  which  goes  into  7  seven  times. 

The  composite  numbers  are  those  which  are  divisible  not  only  by  themselves  and  unity  but  also  by 
some  other  number,  such  as  9, 15,  21,  25,  27, 33,  39,  45,  51,  57,  and  so  forth.  For  example,  21  is 
divisible  not  only  by  itself  and  by  unity,  but  also  by  3  and  by  7. 

The  incomposite-composite  numbers  are  those  which  have  no  common  divisor,  although  each  of  itself 
is  capable  of  division,  such  as  9  and  25.  For  example,  9  is  divisible  by  3  and  25  by  5,  but  neither  is 
divisible  by  the  divisor  of  the  other;  thus  they  have  no  common  divisor.  Because  they  have  individual 
divisors,  they  are  called  composite;  and  because  they  have  no  common  divisor,  they  are  called  in, 
composite.  Accordingly,  the  term  incomposite-composite  was  created  to  describe  their  properties. 

Even  numbers  are  divided  into  three  classes:  evenly-even,  evenly-odd,  and  oddly-odd. 

The  evenly-even  numbers  are  all  in  duple  ratio  from  unity;  thus:  i,  2,  4,  8, 16,  32,  64, 128,  256, 512, 
and  1,024.  The  proof  of  the  perfect  evenly-even  number  is  that  it  can  be  halved  and  the  halves  again 
halved  back  to  unity,  as  1/2  of  64  =  32;  1/2  of  32  =  16;  1/2  of  16  =  8;  1/2  of  8  =  4;  1/2  of  4  =  2;  1/2  of  2 
=  1;  beyond  unity  it  is  impossible  to  go. 

The  evenly-even  numbers  possess  certain  unique  properties.  The  sum  of  any  number  of  terms  but  the 
last  term  is  always  equal  to  the  last  term  minus  one.  For  example:  the  sum  of  the  first  and  second 
terms  (1+2)  equals  the  third  term  (4)  minus  one;  or,  the  sum  of  the  first,  second,  third,  and  fourth 
terms  (1+2+4+8)  equals  the  fifth  term  (16)  minus  one. 

In  a  series  of  evenly-even  numbers,  the  first  multiplied  by  the  last  equals  the  last,  the  second 
multiplied  by  the  second  from  the  last  equals  the  last,  and  so  on  until  in  an  odd  series  one  number 
remains,  which  multiplied  by  itself  equals  the  last  number  of  the  series;  or,  in  an  even  series  two 
numbers  remain,  which  multiplied  by  each  other  give  the  last  number  of  the  series.  For  example:  1,  2, 
4,  8, 16  is  an  odd  series.  The  first  number  (1)  multiplied  by  the  last  number  (16)  equals  the  last 
number  (16).  The  second  number  (2)  multiplied  by  the  second  from  the  last  number  (8)  equals  the 
last  number  (16).  Being  an  odd  series,  the  4  is  left  in  the  center,  and  this  multiplied  by  itself  also 
equals  the  last  number  (16). 

The  evenly-odd  numbers  are  those  which,  when  halved,  are  incapable  of  further  division  by  halving. 
They  are  formed  by  taking  the  odd  numbers  in  sequential  order  and  multiplying  them  by  2.  By  this 
process  the  odd  numbers  1,  3,  5,  7,  9, 11  produce  the  evenly-odd  numbers,  2,  6, 10, 14, 18,  22.  Thus, 
every  fourth  number  is  evenly-odd.  Each  of  the  even-odd  numbers  may  be  divided  once,  as  2,  which 
becomes  two  I's  and  cannot  be  divided  further;  or  6,  which  becomes  two  3's  and  cannot  be  divided 

Another  peculiarity  of  the  evenly-odd  numbers  is  that  if  the  divisor  be  odd  the  quotient  is  always  even, 
and  if  the  divisor  be  even  the  quotient  is  always  odd.  For  example:  if  18  be  divided  by  2  (an  even 
divisor)  the  quotient  is  9  (an  odd  number);  if  18  be  divided  by  3  (an  odd  divisor)  the  quotient  is  6  (an 
even  number). 

The  evenly-odd  numbers  are  also  remarkable  in  that  each  term  is  one-half  of  the  sum  of  the  terms  on 
either  side  of  it.  For  example: 

p.  71 


ji.ri  t  riL 

rcmJ  iLitti-Ji-m 

Tit  unu  ^Oi^ifiimitTt 
jJaekmr*  mtitFtJ  T 









3  £S-t-J.-Jl7 

^  f«  3^  4lnJ  «ff 

c  rfj 




















1— 1 





1^  EI 










a  jicni;  Air 
re,  ffnj  irzAt 

11*.     ifiM  jMn^DiiK*  ■«  n^anhd  Jtvn  ilit -t'lieemfmU  n 


Redrawn  from  Taylor's  Theoretic  Arithmetic. 

This  sieve  is  a  mathematical  device  originated  by  Eratosthenes  about  230  B.C.  far  the  purpose  of  segregating  the  composite  and  incomposite  odd  numbers.  Its  use  is 
extremely  simple  after  the  theory  has  once  been  mastered.  All  the  odd  numbers  are  first  arranged  in  their  natural  order  as  shown  in  the  second  panel  from  the 
bottom,  designated  Odd  Numbers.  It  will  then  be  seen  that  every  third  number  (beginning  with  3)  is  divisible  by  3,  every  fifth  number  (beginning  with  5;)  is  divisible 
by  5,  every  seventh  number  (beginning  with  7)  is  divisible  by  7,  every  ninth  number  (beginning  with  9)  is  divisible  by  9,  every  eleventh  number  (beginning  with  11)  is 
divisible  by  11,  and  so  on  to  infinity.  This  system  finally  sifts  out  what  the  Pythagoreans  called  the  "incomposite"  numbers,  or  those  having  no  divisor  other  than 
themselves  and  unity.  These  will  be  found  in  the  lowest  panel,  designated  Primary  and  Incomposite  Numbers.  In  his  History  of  Mathematics,  David  Eugene  Smith 
states  that  Eratosthenes  was  one  of  the  greatest  scholars  of  Alexandria  and  was  called  by  his  admirers  "the  second  Plato."  Eratosthenes  was  educated  at  Athens,  and 
is  renowned  not  only  for  his  sieve  but  for  having  computed,  by  a  very  ingenious  method,  the  circumference  and  diameter  of  the  earth.  His  estimate  of  the  earth's 
diameter  was  only  50  miles  less  than  the  polar  diameter  accepted  by  modern  scientists.  This  and  other  mathematical  achievements  of  Eratosthenes,  are  indisputable 
evidence  that  in  the  third  century  before  Christ  the  Greeks  not  only  knew  the  earth  to  be  spherical  in  farm  but  could  also  approximate,  with  amazing  accuracy,  its 
actual  size  and  distance  from  both  the  sun  and  the  moon.  Aristarchus  of  Samos,  another  great  Greek  astronomer  and  mathematician,  who  lived  about  250  B.C., 
established  by  philosophical  deduction  and  a  few  simple  scientific  instruments  that  the  earth  revolved  around  the  sun.  While  Copernicus  actually  believed  himself  to 
be  the  discoverer  of  this  fact,  he  but  restated  the  findings  advanced  by  Aristarchus  seventeen  hundred  years  earlier. 

lo  is  one-half  of  the  sum  of  6  and  14;  18  is  one-half  the  sum  of  14  and  22;  and  6  is  one-half  the  sum  of 
2  and  10. 

The  oddly-odd,  or  unevenly-even,  numbers  are  a  compromise  between  the  evenly-even  and  the 
evenly-odd  numbers.  Unlike  the  evenly-even,  they  cannot  be  halved  back  to  unity;  and  unlike  the 
evenly-odd,  they  are  capable  of  more  than  one  division  by  halving.  The  oddly-odd  numbers  are 
formed  by  multiplying  the  evenly-even  numbers  above  2  by  the  odd  numbers  above  one.  The  odd 
numbers  above  one  are  3,  5,  7,  9, 11,  and  so  forth.  The  evenly-even  numbers  above  2  are  4,  8, 16, 32, 
64,  and  soon.  The  first  odd  number  of  the  series  (3)  multiplied  by  4  (the  first  evenly-even  number  of 
the  series)  gives  12,  the  first  oddly-odd  number.  By  multiplying  5,  7,  9, 11,  and  so  forth,  by  4,  oddly- 
odd  numbers  are  found.  The  other  oddly-odd  numbers  are  produced  by  multiplying  3,  5,  7,  9, 11,  and 
so  forth,  in  turn,  by  the  other  evenly-even  numbers  (8, 16,  32,  64,  and  so  forth).  An  example  of  the 
halving  of  the  oddly-odd  number  is  as  follows:  1/2  of  12  =  6;  1/2  of  6  =  3,  which  cannot  be  halved 
further  because  the  Pj^hagoreans  did  not  divide  unity. 

Even  numbers  are  also  divided  into  three  other  classes:  superperfect,  deficient,  and  perfect. 

Superperfect  or  superabundant  numbers  are  such  as  have  the  sum  of  their  fractional  parts  greater 
than  themselves.  For  example:  1/2  of  24  =  12;  1/4  =  6;  1/3  =  8;  1/6  =  4;  1/12  =  2;  and  1/24  =  1.  The 
sum  of  these  parts  (12+6+8+4+2+1)  is  33,  which  is  in  excess  of  24,  the  original  number. 

Deficient  numbers  are  such  as  have  the  sum  of  their  fractional  parts  less  than  themselves.  For 
example:  1/2  of  14  =  7;  1/7  =  2;  and  1/14  =  1.  The  sum  of  these  parts  (7+2+1)  is  10,  which  is  less  than 
14,  the  original  number. 

Perfect  numbers  are  such  as  have  the  sum  of  their  fractional  parts  equal  to  themselves.  For  example: 
1/2  of  28  =  14;  1/4  =  7;  1/7  =  4;  1/14  =  2;  and  1/28  =  1.  The  sum  of  these  parts  (14+7+4+2+1)  is  equal 
to  28. 

The  perfect  numbers  are  extremely  rare.  There  is  only  one  between  1  and  10,  namely,  6;  one  between 
10  and  100,  namely,  28;  one  between  100  and  1,000,  namely,  496;  and  one  between  1,000  and 
10,000,  namely,  8,128.  The  perfect  numbers  are  found  by  the  following  rule:  The  first  number  of  the 
evenly-even  series  of  numbers  (1,  2, 4,  8, 16,  32,  and  so  forth)  is  added  to  the  second  number  of  the 
series,  and  if  an  incomposite  number  results  it  is  multiplied  by  the  last  number  of  the  series  of  evenly- 
even  numbers  whose  sum  produced  it.  The  product  is  the  first  perfect  number.  For  example:  the  first 
and  second  evenly-even  numbers  are  1  and  2.  Their  sum  is  3,  an  incomposite  number.  If  3  be 
multiplied  by  2,  the  last  number  of  the  series  of  evenly-even  numbers  used  to  produce  it,  the  product 
is  6,  the  first  perfect  number.  If  the  addition  of  the  evenly-even  numbers  does  not  result  in  an 
incomposite  number,  the  next  evenly-even  number  of  the  series  must  be  added  until  an  incomposite 
number  results.  The  second  perfect  number  is  found  in  the  following  manner:  The  sum  of  the  evenly- 
even  numbers  1,  2,  and  4  is  7,  an  incomposite  number.  If  7  be  multiplied  by  4  (the  last  of  the  series  of 
evenly-even  numbers  used  to  produce  it)  the  product  is  28,  the  second  perfect  number.  This  method 
of  calculation  may  be  continued  to  infinity. 

Perfect  numbers  when  multiplied  by  2  produce  superabundant  numbers,  and  when  divided  by  2 
produce  deficient  numbers. 

The  Pythagoreans  evolved  their  philosophy  from  the  science  of  numbers.  The  following  quotation 
from  Theoretic  Arithmetic  is  an  excellent  example  of  this  practice: 

"Perfect  numbers,  therefore,  are  beautiful  images  of  the  virtues  which  are  certain  media  between 
excess  and  defect,  and  are  not  summits,  as  by  some  of  the  ancients  they  were  supposed  to  be.  And  evil 
indeed  is  opposed  to  evil,  but  both  are  opposed  to  one  good.  Good,  however,  is  never  opposed  to  good. 

but  to  two  evils  at  one  and  the  same  time.  Thus  timidity  is  opposed  to  audacity,  to  both  [of]  which  the 

want  of  true  courage  is  common;  but  both  timidity  and  audacity  are  opposed  to  fortitude.  Craft  also  is 
opposed  to  fatuity,  to  both  [of]  which  the  want  of  intellect  is  common;  and  both  these  are  opposed  to 
prudence.  Thus,  too,  profusion  is  opposed  to  avarice,  to  both  [of]  which  illiberality  is  common;  and 
both  these  are  opposed  to  liberality.  And  in  a  similar  manner  in  the  other  virtues;  by  all  [of]  which  it 
is  evident  that  perfect  numbers  have  a  great  similitude  to  the  virtues.  But  they  also  resemble  the 
virtues  on  another  account;  for  they  are  rarely  found,  as  being  few,  and  they  are  generated  in  a  very 
constant  order.  On  the  contrary,  an  infinite  multitude  of  superabundant  and  diminished  numbers 
maybe  found,  nor  are  they  disposed  in  any  orderly  series,  nor  generated  from  any  certain  end;  and 
hence  they  have  a  great  similitude  to  the  vices,  which  are  numerous,  inordinate,  and  indefinite." 


(The  following  outline  of  the  Pjfthagorean  numbers  is  a  paraphrase  of  the  writings  of  Nicomachus, 
Theon  of  Smyrna,  Proclus,  Porphyry,  Plutarch,  Clement  of  Alexandria,  Aristotle,  and  other  early 

Monad— i--is  so  called  because  it  remains  always  in  the  same  condition—that  is,  separate  from  multitude.  Its  attributes 
are  as  follows:  It  is  called  mind,  because  the  mind  is  stable  and  has  preeminence;  hermaphrodism,  because  it  is  both  male 
and  female;  odd  and  even,  for  being  added  to  the  even  it  makes  odd,  and  to  the  odd,  even;  God,  because  it  is  the  beginning 
and  end  of  all,  but  itself  has  neither  beginning  nor  end;  good,  for  such  is  the  nature  of  God;  the  receptacle  of  matter, 
because  it  produces  the  duad,  which  is  essentially  material. 

By  the  Pythagoreans  monad  was  called  chaos,  obscurity,  chasm,  Tartarus,  Styx,  abyss,  Lethe,  Atlas,  Axis,  Morpho  (a  name 
for  Venus),  and  Tower  or  Throne  of  Jupiter,  because  of  the  great  power  which  abides  in  the  center  of  the  universe  and 
controls  the  circular  motion  of  the  planers  about  itself.  Monad  is  also  called  germinal  reason,  because  it  is  the  origin  of  all 
the  thoughts  in  the  universe.  Other  names  given  to  it  were:  Apollo,  because  of  its  relation  to  the  sun;  Prometheus,  because 
he  brought  man  light;  Pyralios,  one  who  exists  in  fire;  geniture,  because  without  it  no  number  can  exist;  substance, 
because  substance  is  primary;  cause  of  truth;  and  constitution  of  symphony:  all  these  because  it  is  the  primordial  one. 

Between  greater  and  lesser  the  monad  is  equal;  between  intention  and  remission  it  is  middle;  in  multitude  it  is  mean;  and 
in  time  it  is  now,  because 

p.  72 

eternity  knows  neither  past  nor  future.  It  is  called  Jupiter,  because  he  is  Father  and  head  of  the  gods;  Vesta,  the  fire  of  the 
home,  because  it  is  located  in  the  midst  of  the  universe  and  remains  there  inclining  to  no  side  as  a  dot  in  a  circle;  form, 
because  it  circumscribes,  comprehends,  and  terminates;  love,  concord,  and  piety,  because  it  is  indivisible.  Other  symbolic 
names  for  the  monad  are  ship,  chariot,  Proteus  (a  god  capable  of  changing  his  form),  Mnemosyne,  and  Polyonymous 
(having  many  names). 

The  following  symbolic  names  were  given  to  the  duad— 2— because  it  has  been  divided,  and  is  two  rather  than  one;  and 
when  there  are  two,  each  is  opposed  to  the  other:  genius,  evil,  darkness,  inequality,  instability,  movability,  boldness, 
fortitude,  contention,  matter,  dissimilarity,  partition  between  multitude  and  monad,  defect,  shapelessness,  indefiniteness, 
indeterminate  ness,  harmony,  tolerance,  root,  feet  of  fountain-abounding  idea,  top,  Phanes,  opinion,  fallacy,  alterity, 
diffidence,  impulse,  death,  motion,  generation,  mutation,  division,  longitude,  augmentation,  composition,  communion, 
misfortune,  sustentation,  imposition,  marriage,  soul,  and  science. 

In  his  book,  Numbers,  W.  Wynn  Westcott  says  of  the  duad:  "it  was  called  'Audacity,'  from  its  being  the  earliest  number  to 
separate  itself  from  the  Divine  One;  from  the  'Adytum  of  God-nourished  Silence,'  as  the  Chaldean  oracles  say." 

As  the  monad  is  the  father,  so  the  duad  is  the  mother;  therefore,  the  duad  has  certain  points  in  common  with  the 
goddesses  Isis,  Rhea  (Jove's  mother),  Phrygia,  Lydia,  Dindymene  (Cybele),  and  Ceres;  Erato  (one  of  the  Muses);  Diana, 
because  the  moon  is  forked;  Dictynna,  Venus,  Dione,  Cytherea;  Juno,  because  she  is  both  wife  and  sister  of  Jupiter;  and 
Maia,  the  mother  of  Mercury. 

while  the  monad  is  the  symbol  of  wisdom,  the  duad  is  the  symbol  of  ignorance,  for  in  it  exists  the  sense  of  separateness— 
which  sense  is  the  beginning  of  ignorance.  The  duad,  however,  is  also  the  mother  of  wisdom,  for  ignorance—out  of  the 
nature  of  itself—invariably  gives  birth  to  wisdom. 

The  Pythagoreans  revered  the  monad  but  despised  the  duad,  because  it  was  the  symbol  of  polarity.  By  the  power  of  the 
duad  the  deep  was  created  in  contradistinction  to  the  heavens.  The  deep  mirrored  the  heavens  and  became  the  symbol  of 
illusion,  for  the  below  was  merely  a  reflection  of  the  above.  The  below  was  called  maya,  the  illusion,  the  sea,  the  Great 
Void,  and  to  symbolize  it  the  Magi  of  Persia  carried  mirrors.  From  the  duad  arose  disputes  and  contentions,  until  by 
bringing  the  monad  between  the  duad,  equilibrium  was  reestablished  by  the  Savior-God,  who  took  upon  Himself  the  form 
of  a  number  and  was  crucified  between  two  thieves  for  the  sins  of  men. 

The  triad— 3— is  the  first  number  actually  odd  (monad  not  always  being  considered  a  number).  It  is  the  first  equilibrium  of 
unities;  therefore,  Pythagoras  said  that  Apollo  gave  oracles  from  a  tripod,  and  advised  offer  of  libation  three  times.  The 
keywords  to  the  qualities  of  the  triad  are  friendship,  peace,  justice,  prudence,  piety,  temperance,  and  virtue.  The  following 
deities  partake  of  the  principles  of  the  triad:  Saturn  (ruler  of  time),  Latona,  Cornucopise,  Ophion  (the  great  serpent), 
Thetis,  Hecate,  Polyhymnia  (a  Muse),  Pluto,  Triton,  President  of  the  Sea,  Tritogenia,  Achelous,  and  the  Faces,  Furies,  and 
Graces.  This  number  is  called  wisdom,  because  men  organize  the  present,  foresee  the  future,  and  benefit  by  the 
experiences  of  the  fast.  It  is  cause  of  wisdom  and  understanding.  The  triad  is  the  number  of  knowledge— music,  geometry, 
and  astronomy,  and  the  science  of  the  celestials  and  terrestrials.  Pythagoras  taught  that  the  cube  of  this  number  had  the 
power  of  the  lunar  circle. 

The  sacredness  of  the  triad  and  its  symbol— the  triangle— is  derived  fi-om  the  fact  that  it  is  made  up  of  the  monad  and  the 
duad.  The  monad  is  the  symbol  of  the  Divine  Father  and  the  duad  of  the  Great  Mother.  The  triad  being  made  of  these  two 
is  therefore  androgynous  and  is  symbolic  of  the  fact  that  God  gave  birth  to  His  worlds  out  of  Himself,  who  in  His  creative 
aspect  is  always  symbolized  by  the  triangle.  The  monad  passing  into  the  duad  was  thus  capable  of  becoming  the  parent  of 
progeny,  for  the  duad  was  the  womb  of  Mem,  within  which  the  world  was  incubated  and  within  which  it  still  exists  in 

The  tetrad— 4— was  esteemed  by  the  Pythagoreans  as  the  primogenial  number,  the  root  of  all  things,  the  fountain  of  Nature 
and  the  most  perfect  number.  All  tetrads  are  intellectual;  they  have  an  emergent  order  and  encircle  the  world  as  the 
Empyreum  passes  through  it.  Why  the  Pythagoreans  expressed  God  as  a  tetrad  is  explained  in  a  sacred  discourse  ascribed 
to  Pythagoras,  wherein  God  is  called  the  Number  of  Numbers.  This  is  because  the  decad,  or  10,  is  composed  of  1,  2, 3,  and 
4.  The  number  4  is  symbolic  of  God  because  it  is  symbolic  of  the  first  four  numbers.  Moreover,  the  tetrad  is  the  center  of 
the  week,  being  halfway  between  1  and  7.  The  tetrad  is  also  the  first  geometric  solid. 

Pythagoras  maintained  that  the  soul  of  man  consists  of  a  tetrad,  the  four  powers  of  the  soul  being  mind,  science,  opinion, 
and  sense.  The  tetrad  connects  all  beings,  elements,  numbers,  and  seasons;  nor  can  anything  be  named  which  does  not 
depend  upon  the  tetractys.  It  is  the  Cause  and  Maker  of  all  things,  the  intelligible  God,  Author  of  celestial  and  sensible 
good,  Plutarch  interprets  this  tetractys,  which  he  said  was  also  called  the  world,  to  be  36,  consisting  of  the  first  four  odd 
numbers  added  to  the  first  four  even  numbers,  thus: 

1  +  3+5+7  =16 
2+4+6+8  =20 


Keywords  given  to  the  tetrad  are  impetuosity,  strength,  virility,  two-mothered,  and  the  key  keeper  of  Nature,  because  the 
universal  constitution  cannot  be  without  it.  It  is  also  called  harmony  and  the  first  profundity.  The  following  deities 
partook  of  the  nature  of  the  tetrad:  Hercules,  Mercury,  Vulcan,  Bacchus,  and  Urania  (one  of  the  Muses). 

The  triad  represents  the  primary  colors  and  the  major  planets,  while  the  tetrad  represents  the  secondary  colors  and  the 
minor  planets.  From  the  first  triangle  come  forth  the  seven  spirits,  symbolized  by  a  triangle  and  a  square.  These  together 
form  the  Masonic  apron. 

The  pentad— 5— is  the  union  of  an  odd  and  an  even  number  (3  and  2).  Among  the  Greeks,  the  pentagram  was  a  sacred 
symbol  of  light,  health,  and  vitality.  It  also  symbolized  the  fifth  element— ether— because  it  is  free  from  the  disturbances  of 
the  four  lower  elements.  It  is  called  equilibrium,  because  it  divides  the  perfect  number  10  into  two  equal  parts. 

The  pentad  is  symbolic  of  Nature,  for,  when  multiphed  by  itself  it  returns  into  itself,  just  as  grains  of  wheat,  starting  in  the 
form  of  seed,  pass  through  Nature's  processes  and  reproduce  the  seed  of  the  wheat  as  the  ultimate  form  of  their  own 
growth.  Other  numbers  multiplied  by  themselves  produce  other  numbers,  but  only  5  and  6  multiplied  by  themselves 
represent  and  retain  their  original  number  as  the  last  figure  in  their  products. 

The  pentad  represents  all  the  superior  and  inferior  beings.  It  is  sometimes  referred  to  as  the  hierophant,  or  the  priest  of 
the  Mysteries,  because  of  its  connection  with  the  spiritual  ethers,  by  means  of  which  mystic  development  is  attained. 
Keywords  of  the  pentad  are  reconciliation,  alternation,  marriage,  immortality,  cordiality.  Providence,  and  sound.  Among 
the  deities  who  partook  of  the  nature  of  the  pentad  were  Pallas,  Nemesis,  Bubastia  (Bast),  Venus,  Androgynia,  Cytherea, 
and  the  messengers  of  Jupiter. 

The  tetrad  (the  elements)  plus  the  monad  equals  the  pentad.  The  P5^hagoreans  taught  that  the  elements  of  earth,  fire,  air, 
and  water  were  permeated  by  a  substance  called  ether—the  basis  of  vitality  and  life.  Therefore,  they  chose  the  five-pointed 
star,  or  pentagram,  as  the  symbol  of  vitality,  health,  and  interpenetration. 

It  was  customary  for  the  philosophers  to  conceal  the  element  of  earth  under  the  symbol  of  a  dragon,  and  many  of  the 
heroes  of  antiquity  were  told  to  go  forth  and  slay  the  dragon.  Hence,  they  drove  their  sword  (the  monad)  into  the  body  of 
the  dragon  (the  tetrad).  This  resulted  in  the  formation  of  the  pentad,  a  symbol  of  the  victory  of  the  spiritual  nature  over 
the  material  nature.  The  four  elements  are  symbolized  in  the  early  Biblical  writings  as  the  four  rivers  that  poured  out  of 
Garden  of  Eden.  The  elements  themselves  are  under  the  control  of  the  composite  Cherubim  of  Ezekiel. 

The  Pythagoreans  held  the  hexad~6~to  represent,  as  Clement  of  Alexandria  conceived,  the  creation  of  the  world 
according  to  both  the  prophets  and  the  ancient  Mysteries.  It  was  called  by  the  Pythagoreans  the  perfection  of  all  the  parts. 
This  number  was  particularly  sacred  to  Orpheus,  and  also  to  the  Fate,  Lachesis,  and  the  Muse,  Thalia.  It  was  called  the 
form  of  forms,  the  articulation  of  the  universe,  and  the  maker  of  the  soul. 

Among  the  Greeks,  harmony  and  the  soul  were  considered  to  be  similar  in  nature,  because  all  souls  are  harmonic.  The 
hexad  is  also  the  symbol  of  marriage,  because  it  is  formed  by  the  union  of  two  triangles,  one  masculine  and  the  other 
feminine.  Among  the  keywords  given  to  the  hexad  are:  time,  for  it  is  the  measure  of  duration;  panacea,  because  health  is 
equilibrium,  and  the  hexad  is  a  balance  number;  the  world,  because  the  world,  like  the  hexad,  is  often  seen  to  consist  of 
contraries  by  harmony;  omnisufficient,  because  its  parts  are  sufficient  for  totality  (3+2  +  1  =  6);  unwearied,  because  it 
contains  the  elements  of  immortality. 

By  the  Pj^hagoreans  the  heptad~7~was  called  "worthy  of  veneration."  It  was  held  to  be  the  number  of  religion,  because 
man  is  controlled  by  seven  celestial  spirits  to  whom  it  is  proper  for  him  to  make  offerings.  It  was  called  the  number  of  life, 
because  it  was  believed  that  human  creatures  born  in  the  seventh  month  of  embryonic  life  usually  lived,  but  those  born  in 
the  eighth  month  often  died.  One  author  called  it  the  Motherless  Virgin,  Minerva,  because  it  was  nor  born  of  a  mother  but 
out  of  the  crown,  or  the  head  of  the  Father,  the  monad.  Keywords  of  the  heptad  are  fortune,  occasion,  custody,  control, 
government,  judgment,  dreams,  voices,  sounds,  and  that  which  leads  all  things  to  their  end.  Deities  whose  attributes  were 
expressed  by  the  heptad  were  i^^gis,  Osiris,  Mars,  and  Cleo  (one  of  the  Muses). 

Among  many  ancient  nations  the  heptad  is  a  sacred  number.  The  Elohim  of  the  Jews  were  supposedly  seven  in  number. 
They  were  the  Spirits  of  the  Dawn,  more  commonly  known  as  the  Archangels  controlling  the  planets.  The  seven 
Archangels,  with  the  three  spirits  controlling  the  sun  in  its  threefold  aspect,  constitute  the  10,  the  sacred  Pythagorean 
decad.  The  mysterious  Pythagorean  tetractys,  or  four  rows  of  dots,  increasing  from  1  to  4,  was  symbolic  of  the  stages  of 
creation.  The  great  Pythagorean  truth  that  all  things  in  Nature  are  regenerated  through  the  decad,  or  10,  is  subtly 
preserved  in  Freemasonry  through  these  grips  being  effected  by  the  uniting  of  10  fingers,  five  on  the  hand  of  each  person. 

The  3  (spirit,  mind,  and  soul)  descend  into  the  4  (the  world),  the  sum  being  the  7,  or  the  mystic  nature  of  man,  consisting 
of  a  threefold  spiritual  body  and  a  fourfold  material  form.  These  are  symbolized  by  the  cube,  which  has  six  surfaces  and  a 
mysterious  seventh  point  within.  The  six  surfaces  are  the  directions:  north,  east,  south,  west,  up,  and  down;  or,  front,  back, 
right,  left,  above,  and  below;  or  again,  earth,  fire,  air,  water,  spirit,  and  matter.  In  the  midst  of  these  stands  the  1,  which  is 
the  upright  figure  of  man,  from  whose  center  in  the  cube  radiate  six  pyramids.  From  this  comes  the  great  occult  axiom: 
"The  center  is  the  father  of  the  directions,  the  dimensions,  and  the  distances." 

The  heptad  is  the  number  of  the  law,  because  it  is  the  number  of  the  Makers  of  Cosmic  law,  the  Seven  Spirits  before  the 

The  ogdoad~8~was  sacred  because  it  was  the  number  of  the  first  cube,  which  form  had  eight  corners,  and  was  the  only 
evenly-even  number  under  10  (1-2-4-8-4-2-1).  Thus,  the  8  is  divided  into  two  4's,  each  4  is  divided  into  two  2's,  and  each  2 
is  divided  into  two  I's,  thereby  reestablishing  the  monad.  Among  the  kej^vords  of  the  ogdoad  are  love,  counsel,  prudence. 

law,  and  convenience.  Among  the  divinities  partaking  of  its  nature  were  Panarmonia,  Rhea,  Cibele,  Cadmaea,  Dindymene, 
Orcia,  Neptune,  Themis,  and  Euterpe  (a  Muse). 

The  ogdoad  was  a  mysterious  number  associated  with  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries  of  Greece  and  the  Cabiri.  It  was  called  the 
little  holy  number.  It  derived  its  form  partly  from  the  twisted  snakes  on  the  Caduceus  of  Hermes  and  partly  from  the 
serpentine  motion  of  the  celestial  bodies;  possibly  also  from  the  moon's  nodes. 

The  ennead~9~was  the  first  square  of  an  odd  number  (3x3).  It  was  associated  with  failure  and  shortcoming  because  it  fell 
short  of  the  perfect  number  10  by  one.  It  was  called  the  called  the  number  of  man,  because  of  the  nine  months  of  his 
embryonic  life.  Among  its  keywords  are  ocean  and  horizon,  because  to  the  ancients  these  were  boundless.  The  ennead  is 
the  limitless  number  because  there  is  nothing  beyond  it  but  the  infinite  10.  It  was  called  boundary  and  limitation,  because 
it  gathered  all  numbers  within  itself.  It  was  called  the  sphere  of  the  air,  because  it  surrounded  the  numbers  as  air 
surrounds  the  earth,  Among  the  gods  and  goddesses  who  partook  in  greater  or  less  degree  of  its  nature  were  Prometheus, 
Vulcan,  Juno,  the  sister  and  wife  of  Jupiter,  Paean,  and  Aglaia,  Tritogenia,  Curetes,  Proserpine,  Hyperion,  and  Terpsichore 
(a  Muse). 

The  9  was  looked  upon  as  evil,  because  it  was  an  inverted  6.  According  to  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  it  was  the  number  of 
the  spheres  through  which  the  consciousness  passed  on  its  way  to  birth.  Because  of  its  close  resemblance  to  the 
spermatozoon,  the  9  has  been  associated  with  germinal  life. 

The  decad~io~according  to  the  Pythagoreans,  is  the  greatest  of  numbers,  not  only  because  it  is  the  tetractys  (the  10  dots) 
but  because  it  comprehends  all  arithmetic  and  harmonic  proportions.  Pythagoras  said  that  10  is  the  nature  of  number, 
because  all  nations  reckon  to  it  and  when  they  arrive  at  it  they  return  to  the  monad.  The  decad  was  called  both  heaven  and 
the  world,  because  the  former  includes  the  latter.  Being  a  perfect  number,  the  decad  was  applied  by  the  Pythagoreans  to 
those  things  relating  to  age,  power,  faith,  necessity,  and  the  power  of  memory.  It  was  also  called  unwearied,  because,  like 
God,  it  was  tireless.  The  P5^hagoreans  divided  the  heavenly  bodies  into  ten  orders.  They  also  stated  that  the  decad 
perfected  all  numbers  and  comprehended  within  itself  the  nature  of  odd  and  even,  moved  and  unmoved,  good  and  ill. 
They  associated  its  power  with  the  following  deities:  Atlas  (for  it  carried  the  numbers  on  its  shoulders),  Urania, 
Mnemosyne,  the  Sun,  Phanes,  and  the  One  God. 

The  decimal  system  can  probably  be  traced  back  to  the  time  when  it  was  customary  to  reckon  on  the  fingers,  these  being 
among  the  most  primitive  of  calculating  devices  and  still  in  use  among  many  aboriginal  peoples. 


The  Human  Body  in  Symbolism 

THE  oldest,  the  most  profound,  the  most  universal  of  all  symbols  is  the  human  body.  The  Greeks, 
Persians,  Egyptians,  and  Hindus  considered  a  philosophical  analysis  of  man's  triune  nature  to  be  an 
indispensable  part  of  ethical  and  religious  training.  The  Mysteries  of  every  nation  taught  that  the  laws, 
elements,  and  powers  of  the  universe  were  epitomized  in  the  human  constitution;  that  everything 
which  existed  outside  of  man  had  its  analogue  within  man.  The  universe,  being  immeasurable  in  its 
immensity  and  inconceivable  in  its  profundity,  was  beyond  mortal  estimation.  Even  the  gods 
themselves  could  comprehend  but  a  part  of  the  inaccessible  glory  which  was  their  source.  When 
temporarily  permeated  with  divine  enthusiasm,  man  may  transcend  for  a  brief  moment  the 
limitations  of  his  own  personality  and  behold  in  part  that  celestial  effulgence  in  which  all  creation  is 
bathed.  But  even  in  his  periods  of  greatest  illumination  man  is  incapable  of  imprinting  upon  the 
substance  of  his  rational  soul  a  perfect  image  of  the  multiform  expression  of  celestial  activity. 

Recognizing  the  futility  of  attempting  to  cope  intellectually  with  that  which  transcends  the 
comprehension  of  the  rational  faculties,  the  early  philosophers  turned  their  attention  from  the 
inconceivable  Divinity  to  man  himself,  with  in  the  narrow  confines  of  whose  nature  they  found 
manifested  all  the  mysteries  of  the  external  spheres.  As  the  natural  outgrowth  of  this  practice  there 
was  fabricated  a  secret  theological  system  in  which  God  was  considered  as  the  Grand  Man  and, 
conversely,  man  as  the  little  god.  Continuing  this  analogy,  the  universe  was  regarded  as  a  man  and, 
conversely,  man  as  a  miniature  universe.  The  greater  universe  was  termed  the  Macrocosm— the  Great 
World  or  Body—and  the  Divine  Life  or  spiritual  entity  controlling  its  functions  was  called  the 
Macroprosophus.  Man's  body,  or  the  individual  human  universe,  was  termed  the  Microcosm,  and  the 
Divine  Life  or  spiritual  entity  controlling  its  functions  was  called  the  Microprosophus.  The  pagan 
Mysteries  were  primarily  concerned  with  instructing  neophj^es  in  the  true  relationship  existing 
between  the  Macrocosm  and  the  Microcosm— in  other  words,  between  God  and  man.  Accordingly, 
the  key  to  these  analogies  between  the  organs  and  functions  of  the  Microcosmic  man  and  those  of  the 
Macrocosmic  Man  constituted  the  most  prized  possession  of  the  early  initiates. 

In  Isis  Unveiled,  H.  P.  Blavatsky  summarizes  the  pagan  concept  of  man  as  follows:  "Man  is  a  little 
world—a  microcosm  inside  the  great  universe.  Like  a  fetus,  he  is  suspended,  by  all  his  three  spirits,  in 
the  matrix  of  the  macrocosmos;  and  while  his  terrestrial  body  is  in  constant  sympathy  with  its  parent 
earth,  his  astral  soul  lives  in  unison  with  the  sidereal  anima  mundi.  He  is  in  it,  as  it  is  in  him,  for  the 
world-pervading  element  fills  all  space,  and  is  space  itself,  only  shoreless  and  infinite.  As  to  his  third 
spirit,  the  divine,  what  is  it  but  an  infinitesimal  ray,  one  of  the  countless  radiations  proceeding 
directly  from  the  Highest  Cause— the  Spiritual  Light  of  the  World?  This  is  the  trinity  of  organic  and 
inorganic  nature— the  spiritual  and  the  physical,  which  are  three  in  one,  and  of  which  Proclus  says 
that  'The  first  monad  is  the  Eternal  God;  the  second,  eternity;  the  third,  the  paradigm,  or  pattern  of 
the  universe;'  the  three  constituting  the  Intelligible  Triad." 

Long  before  the  introduction  of  idolatry  into  religion,  the  early  priests  caused  the  statue  of  a  man  to 
be  placed  in  the  sanctuary  of  the  temple.  This  human  figure  symbolized  the  Divine  Power  in  all  its 
intricate  manifestations.  Thus  the  priests  of  antiquity  accepted  man  as  their  textbook,  and  through 
the  study  of  him  learned  to  understand  the  greater  and  more  abstruse  mysteries  of  the  celestial 
scheme  of  which  they  were  a  part.  It  is  not  improbable  that  this  mysterious  figure  standing  over  the 
primitive  altars  was  made  in  the  nature  of  a  manikin  and,  like  certain  emblematic  hands  in  the 
Mystery  schools,  was  covered  with  either  carved  or  painted  hieroglyphs.  The  statue  may  have  opened, 
thus  showing  the  relative  positions  of  the  organs,  bones,  muscles,  nerves,  and  other  parts.  After  ages 
of  research,  the  manikin  became  a  mass  of  intricate  hieroglyphs  and  symbolic  figures.  Every  part  had 
its  secret  meaning.  The  measurements  formed  a  basic  standard  by  means  of  which  it  was  possible  to 

measure  all  parts  of  cosmos.  It  was  a  glorious  composite  emblem  of  all  the  knowledge  possessed  by 
the  sages  and  hierophants. 

Then  came  the  age  of  idolatry.  The  Mysteries  decayed  from  within.  The  secrets  were  lost  and  none 
knew  the  identity  of  the  mysterious  man  who  stood  over  the  altar.  It  was  remembered  only  that  the 
figure  was  a  sacred  and  glorious  symbol  of  the  Universal  Power,  and  it:  finally  came  to  be  looked  upon 
as  a  god—the  One  in  whose  image  man  was  made.  Having  lost  the  knowledge  of  the  purpose  for  which 
the  manikin  was  originally  constructed,  the  priests  worshiped  this  effigy  until  at  last  their  lack  of 
spiritual  understanding  brought  the  temple  down  in  ruins  about  their  heads  and  the  statue  crumbled 
with  the  civilization  that  had  forgotten  its  meaning. 

Proceeding  from  this  assumption  of  the  first  theologians  that  man  is  actually  fashioned  in  the  image 
of  God,  the  initiated  minds  of  past  ages  erected  the  stupendous  structure  of  theology  upon  the 
foundation  of  the  human  body.  The  religious  world  of  today  is  almost  totally  ignorant  of  the  fact  that 
the  science  of  biology  is  the  fountainhead  of  its  doctrines  and  tenets.  Many  of  the  codes  and  laws 
believed  by  modern  divines  to  have  been  direct  revelations  from  Divinity  are  in  reality  the  fruitage  of 
ages  of  patient  delving  into  the  intricacies  of  the  human  constitution  and  the  infinite  wonders 
revealed  by  such  a  study. 

In  nearly  all  the  sacred  books  of  the  world  can  be  traced  an  anatomical  analogy.  This  is  most  evident 
in  their  creation  myths.  Anyone  familiar  with  embryology  and  obstetrics  will  have  no  difficulty  in 
recognizing  the  basis  of  the  allegory  concerning  Adam  and  Eve  and  the  Garden  of  Eden,  the  nine 
degrees  of  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries,  and  the  Brahmanic  legend  of  Vishnu's  incarnations.  The  story  of 
the  Universal  Egg,  the  Scandinavian  myth  of  Ginnungagap  (the  dark  cleft  in  space  in  which  the  seed 
of  the  world  is  sown),  and  the  use  of  the  fish  as  the  emblem  of  the  paternal  generative  power—all 
show  the  true  origin  of  theological  speculation.  The  philosophers  of  antiquity  realized  that  man 
himself  was  the  key  to  the  riddle  of  life,  for  he  was  the  living  image  of  the  Divine  Plan,  and  in  future 
ages  humanity  also  will  come  to  realize  more  fully  the  solemn  import  of  those  ancient  words:  "The 
proper  study  of  mankind  is  man." 

Both  God  and  man  have  a  twofold  constitution,  of  which  the  superior  part  is  invisible  and  the  inferior 
visible.  In  both  there  is  also  an  intermediary  sphere,  marking  the  point  where  these  visible  and 
invisible  natures  meet.  As  the  spiritual  nature  of  God  controls  His  objective  universal  form-which  is 
actually  a  crystallized  idea— so  the  spiritual  nature  of  man  is  the  invisible  cause  and  controlling  power 
of  his  visible  material  personality.  Thus  it  is  evident  that  the  spirit  of  man  bears  the  same  relationship 
to  his  material  body  that  God  bears  to  the  objective  universe.  The  Mysteries  taught  that  spirit,  or  life, 
was  anterior  to  form  and  that  what  is  anterior  includes  all  that  is  posterior  to  itself.  Spirit  being 
anterior  to  form,  form  is  therefore  included  within  the  realm  of  spirit.  It  is  also  a  popular  statement  or 
belief  that  man's  spirit  is  within  his  body.  According  to  the  conclusions  of  philosophy  and  theology, 
however,  this  belief  is  erroneous,  for  spirit  first  circumscribes  an  area  and  then  manifests  within  it. 
Philosophically  speaking,  form,  being  a  part  of  spirit,  is  within  spirit;  but:  spirit  is  more  than  the  sum 
of  form,  As  the  material  nature  of  man  is  therefore  within  the  sum  of  spirit,  so  the  Universal  Nature, 
including  the  entire  sidereal  system,  is  within  the  all-pervading  essence  of  God— the  Universal  Spirit. 

According  to  another  concept  of  the  ancient  wisdom,  all  bodies— whether  spiritual  or  material— have 
three  centers,  called  by  the  Greeks  the  upper  center,  the  middle  center,  and  the  lower  center.  An 
apparent  ambiguity  will  here  be  noted.  To  diagram  or  symbolize  adequately  abstract  mental  verities  is 
impossible,  for  the  diagrammatic  representation  of  one  aspect  of  metaphysical  relationships  may  be 
an  actual  contradiction  of  some  other  aspect.  While  that  which 


From  Bohme's  LibriApologetici. 

The  Tetragrammaton,  or  four-lettered  Name  of  God,  is  here  arranged  as  a  tetractys  within  the  inverted  human  heart. 
Beneath,  the  name  Jehovah  is  shown  transformed  into  Jehoshua  by  the  interpolation  of  the  radiant  Hebrew  letter  no.  Shin. 
The  drawing  as  a  whole  represents  the  throne  of  God  and  His  hierarchies  within  the  heart  of  man.  In  the  first  book  of  his 
LibriApologetici,  Jakob  Bohme  thus  describes  the  meaning  of  the  symbol:  "For  we  men  have  one  book  in  common  which 
points  to  God.  Each  has  it  within  himself,  which  is  the  priceless  Name  of  God.  Its  letters  are  the  flames  of  His  love,  which 
He  out  of  His  heart  in  the  priceless  Name  of  Jesus  has  revealed  in  us.  Read  these  letters  in  your  hearts  and  spirits  and  you 
have  books  enough.  All  the  writings  of  the  children  of  God  direct  you  unto  that  one  book,  for  therein  lie  all  the  treasures  of 
wisdom.  *  *  *  This  book  is  Christ  in  you." 


is  above  is  generally  considered  superior  in  dignity  and  power,  in  reality  that  which  is  in  the  center  is 
superior  and  anterior  to  both  that  which  is  said  to  be  above  and  that  which  is  said  to  be  below. 
Therefore,  it  must  be  said  that  the  first—which  is  considered  as  being  above—is  actually  in  the  center, 
while  both  of  the  others  (which  are  said  to  be  either  above  or  below)  are  actually  beneath.  This  point 
can  be  further  simplified  if  the  reader  will  consider  above  as  indicating  degree  of  proximity  to  source 
and  below  as  indicating  degree  of  distance  from  source,  source  being  posited  in  the  actual  center  and 
relative  distance  being  the  various  points  along  the  radii  from  the  center  toward  the  circumference.  In 
matters  pertaining  to  philosophy  and  theology,  up  maybe  considered  as  toward  the  center  and  doivn 
as  toward  the  circumference.  Center  is  spirit;  circumference  is  matter.  Therefore,  up  is  toward  spirit 
along  an  ascending  scale  of  spirituality;  down  is  toward  matter  along  an  ascending  scale  of 
materiality.  The  latter  concept  is  partly  expressed  by  the  apex  of  a  cone  which,  when  viewed  from 
above,  is  seen  as  a  point  in  the  exact  center  of  the  circumference  formed  by  the  base  of  the  cone. 

These  three  universal  centers— the  one  above,  the  one  below,  and  the  link  uniting  them-represent 
three  suns  or  three  aspects  of  one  sun— centers  of  effulgence.  These  also  have  their  analogues  in  the 
three  grand  centers  of  the  human  body,  which,  like  the  physical  universe,  is  a  Demiurgic  fabrication. 
"The  first  of  these  [suns],"  says  Thomas  Taylor,  "is  analogous  to  light  when  viewed  subsisting  in  its 
fountain  the  sun;  the  second  to  the  light  immediately  proceeding  from  the  sun;  and  the  third  to  the 
splendour  communicated  to  other  natures  by  this  light." 

Since  the  superior  (or  spiritual)  center  is  in  the  midst  of  the  other  two,  its  analogue  in  the  physical 
body  is  the  heart— the  most  spiritual  and  mysterious  organ  in  the  human  body.  The  second  center  (or 
the  link  between  the  superior  and  inferior  worlds)  is  elevated  to  the  position  of  greatest  physical 
dignity— the  brain.  The  third  (or  lower)  center  is  relegated  to  the  position  of  least  physical  dignity  but 
greatest  physical  importance— the  generative  system.  Thus  the  heart  is  symbolically  the  source  of  life; 
the  brain  the  link  by  which,  through  rational  intelligence,  life  and  form  are  united;  and  the  generative 
system— or  infernal  creator— the  source  of  that  power  by  which  physical  organisms  are  produced.  The 

ideals  and  aspirations  of  the  individual  depend  largely  upon  which  of  these  three  centers  of  power 
predominates  in  scope  and  activity  of  expression.  In  the  materialist  the  lower  center  is  the  strongest, 
in  the  intellectualist  the  higher  center;  but  in  the  initiate  the  middle  center—by  bathing  the  two 
extremes  in  a  flood  of  spiritual  effulgence—controls  wholesomely  both  the  mind  and  the  body. 

As  light  bears  witness  of  life-which  is  its  source-so  the  mind  bears  witness  of  the  spirit,  and  activity  in 
a  still  lower  plane  bears  witness  of  intelligence.  Thus  the  mind  bears  witness  of  the  heart,  while  the 
generative  system,  in  turn,  bears  witness  of  the  mind.  Accordingly,  the  spiritual  nature  is  most 
commonly  symbolized  by  a  heart;  the  intellectual  power  by  an  opened  eye,  symbolizing  the  pineal 
gland  or  Cyclopean  eye,  which  is  the  two-faced  Janus  of  the  pagan  Mysteries;  and  the  generative 
system  by  a  flower,  a  staff,  a  cup,  or  a  hand. 

While  all  the  Mysteries  recognized  the  heart  as  the  center  of  spiritual  consciousness,  they  often 
purposely  ignored  this  concept  and  used  the  heart  in  its  exoteric  sense  as  the  symbol  of  the  emotional 
nature,  In  this  arrangement  the  generative  center  represented  the  physical  body,  the  heart  the 
emotional  body,  and  the  brain  the  mental  body.  The  brain  represented  the  superior  sphere,  but  after 
the  initiates  had  passed  through  the  lower  degrees  they  were  instructed  that  the  brain  was  the  proxy 
of  the  spiritual  flame  dwelling  in  the  innermost  recesses  of  the  heart.  The  student  of  esotericism 
discovers  ere  long  that  the  ancients  often  resorted  to  various  blinds  to  conceal  the  true  interpretations 
of  their  Mysteries.  The  substitution  of  the  brain  for  the  heart  was  one  of  these  blinds. 

The  three  degrees  of  the  ancient  Mysteries  were,  with  few  exceptions,  given  in  chambers  which 
represented  the  three  great  centers  of  the  human  and  Universal  bodies.  If  possible,  the  temple  itself 
was  constructed  in  the  form  of  the  human  body.  The  candidate  entered  between  the  feet  and  received 
the  highest  degree  in  the  point  corresponding  to  the  brain.  Thus  the  first  degree  was  the  material 
mystery  and  its  symbol  was  the  generative  system;  it  raised  the  candidate  through  the  various  degrees 
of  concrete  thought.  The  second  degree  was  given  in  the  chamber  corresponding  to  the  heart,  but 
represented  the  middle  power  which  was  the  mental  link.  Here  the  candidate  was  initiated  into  the 
mysteries  of  abstract  thought  and  lifted  as  high  as  the  mind  was  capable  of  penetrating.  He  then 
passed  into  the  third  chamber,  which,  analogous  to  the  brain,  occupied  the  highest  position  in  the 
temple  but,  analogous  to  the  heart,  was  of  the  greatest  dignity.  In  the  brain  chamber  the  heart 
mystery  was  given.  Here  the  initiate  for  the  first  time  truly  comprehended  the  meaning  of  those 
immortal  words:  "As  a  man  thinketh  in  his  heart,  so  is  he."  As  there  are  seven  hearts  in  the  brain  so 
there  are  seven  brains  in  the  heart,  but  this  is  a  matter  of  superphysics  of  which  little  can  be  said  at 
the  present  time. 

Proclus  writes  on  this  subject  in  the  first  book  of  On  the  Theology  of  Plato:  "Indeed,  Socrates  in  the 
(First)  Alcibiades  rightly  observes,  that  the  soul  entering  into  herself  will  behold  all  other  things,  and 
deity  itself.  For  verging  to  her  own  union,  and  to  the  centre  of  all  life,  laying  aside  multitude,  and  the 
variety  of  the  all  manifold  powers  which  she  contains,  she  ascends  to  the  highest  watch-tower 
offerings.  And  as  in  the  most  holy  of  the  mysteries,  they  say,  that  the  mystics  at  first  meet  with  the 
multi  form,  and  many-shaped  genera,  which  are  hurled  forth  before  the  gods,  but  on  entering  the 
temple,  unmoved,  and  guarded  by  the  mystic  rites,  they  genuinely  receive  in  their  bosom  [heart] 
divine  illumination,  and  divested  of  their  garments,  as  they  would  say,  participate  of  a  divine  nature; 
the  same  mode,  as  it  appears  to  me,  takes  place  in  the  speculation  of  wholes.  For  the  soul  when 
looking  at  things  posterior  to  herself,  beholds  the  shadows  and  images  of  beings,  but  when  she 
converts  herself  to  herself  she  evolves  her  own  essence,  and  the  reasons  which  she  contains.  And  at 
first  indeed,  she  only  as  it  were  beholds  herself;  but,  when  she  penetrates  more  profoundly  into  the 
knowledge  of  herself,  she  finds  in  herself  both  intellect,  and  the  orders  of  beings.  When  however,  she 
proceeds  into  her  interior  recesses,  and  into  the  adytum  as  it  were  of  the  soul,  she  perceives  with  her 
eye  closed  [without  the  aid  of  the  lower  mind],  the  genus  of  the  gods,  and  the  unities  of  beings.  For  all 
things  are  in  us  psychically,  and  through  this  we  are  naturally  capable  of  knowing  all  things,  by 
exciting  the  powers  and  the  images  of  wholes  which  we  contain." 

The  initiates  of  old  warned  their  disciples  that  an  image  is  not  a  reality  but  merely  the  objectification 

of  a  subjective  idea.  The  image,  of  the  gods  were  nor  designed  to  be  objects  of  worship  but  were  to  be 
regarded  merely  as  emblems  or  reminders  of  invisible  powers  and  principles.  Similarly,  the  body  of 
man  must  not  be  considered  as  the  individual  but  only  as  the  house  of  the  individual,  in  the  same 
manner  that  the  temple  was  the  House  of  God.  In  a  state  of  grossness  and  perversion  man's  body  is 
the  tomb  or  prison  of  a  divine 


From  an  old  print,  courtesy  of  Carl  Oscar  Borg. 

Upon  the  twelve  phalanges  of  the  fingers,  appear  the  likenesses  of  the  Apostles,  each  bearing  its  own  appropriate  symbol. 
In  the  case  of  those  who  suffered  martyrdom  the  symbol  signifies  the  instrument  of  death.  Thus,  the  symbol  of  St.  Andrew 
is  a  cross;  of  St.  Thomas,  a  javelin  or  a  builder's  square;  of  St.  James  the  Less,  a  club;  of  St  Philip,  a  cross;  of  St. 
Bartholomew,  a  large  knife  or  scimitar;  of  St.  Matthew,  a  sword  or  spear  (sometimes  a  purse);  of  St.  Simon,  a  club  or  saw; 
of  St.  Matthias,  an  axe;  and  of  St.  Judas,  a  halbert.  The  Apostles  whose  symbols  do  not  elate  to  their  martyrdom  are  St. 
Peter,  who  carries  two  crossed  keys,  one  gold  and  one  silver;  St.  James  the  Great,  who  bears  a  pilgrim's  staff  and  an 
escalop  shell;  and  St.  John,  who  holds  a  cup  from  which  the  poison  miraculously  departed  in  the  form  of  a  serpent.  (See 
Handbook  of  Christian  Symbolism.)  The  figure  of  Christ  upon  the  second  phalange  of  the  thumb  does  not  follow  the 
pagan  system  of  assigning  the  first  Person  of  the  Creative  Triad  to  this  Position.  God  the  Father  should  occupy  the  second 
Phalange,  God  the  Son  the  first  phalange,  while  to  God  the  Holy  Spirit  is  assigned  the  base  of  the  thumb.—Also,  according 
to  the  Philosophic  arrangement,  the  Virgin  should  occupy  the  base  of  the  thumb,  which  is  sacred  to  the  moon. 


principle;  in  a  state  of  unfoldment  and  regeneration  it  is  the  House  or  Sanctuary  of  the  Deity  by 
whose  creative  powers  it  was  fashioned.  "Personality  is  suspended  upon  a  thread  from  the  nature  of 
Being,"  declares  the  secret  work.  Man  is  essentially  a  permanent  and  immortal  principle;  only  his 

bodies  pass  through  the  cycle  of  birth  and  death.  The  immortal  is  the  reality;  the  mortal  is  the 
unreality.  During  each  period  of  earth  life,  reality  thus  dwells  in  unreality,  to  be  liberated  from  it 
temporarily  by  death  and  permanently  by  illumination. 

While  generally  regarded  as  poljliheists,  the  pagans  gained  this  reputation  not  because  they 
worshiped  more  than  one  God  but  rather  because  they  personified  the  attributes  of  this  God,  thereby 
creating  a  pantheon  of  posterior  deities  each  manifesting  a  part  of  what  the  One  God  manifested  as  a 
whole.  The  various  pantheons  of  ancient  religions  therefore  actually  represent  the  catalogued  and 
personified  attributes  of  Deity.  In  this  respect  they  correspond  to  the  hierarchies  of  the  Hebrew 
Qabbalists.  All  the  gods  and  goddesses  of  antiquity  consequently  have  their  analogies  in  the  human 
body,  as  have  also  the  elements,  planets,  and  constellations  which  were  assigned  as  proper  vehicles 
for  these  celestials.  Four  body  centers  are  assigned  to  the  elements,  the  seven  vital  organs  to  the 
planets,  the  twelve  principal  parts  and  members  to  the  zodiac,  the  invisible  parts  of  man's  divine 
nature  to  various  supermundane  deities,  while  the  hidden  God  was  declared  to  manifest  through  the 
marrow  in  the  bones. 

It  is  difficult  for  many  to  realize  that  they  are  actual  universes;  that  their  physical  bodies  are  a  visible 
nature  through  the  structure  of  which  countless  waves  of  evolving  life  are  unfolding  their  latent 
potentialities.  Yet  through  man's  physical  body  not  only  are  a  mineral,  a  plant,  and  an  animal 
kingdom  evolving,  but  also  unknown  classifications  and  divisions  of  invisible  spiritual  life,  just  as 
cells  are  infinitesimal  units  in  the  structure  of  man,  so  man  is  an  infinitesimal  unit  in  the  structure  of 
the  universe.  A  theology  based  upon  the  knowledge  and  appreciation  of  these  relationships  is  as 
profoundly  just  as  it  is  profoundly  true. 

As  man's  physical  body  has  five  distinct  and  important  extremities—two  legs,  two  arms,  and  a  head,  of 
which  the  last  governs  the  first  four —the  number  5  has  been  accepted  as  the  symbol  of  man.  By  its 
four  corners  the  pyramid  symbolizes  the  arms  and  legs,  and  by  its  apex  the  head,  thus  indicating  that 
one  rational  power  controls  four  irrational  corners.  The  hands  and  feet  are  used  to  represent  the  four 
elements,  of  which  the  two  feet  are  earth  and  water,  and  the  two  hands  fire  and  air.  The  brain  then 
symbolizes  the  sacred  fifth  element—aether—which  controls  and  unites  the  other  four.  If  the  feet  are 
placed  together  and  the  arms  outspread,  man  then  symbolizes  the  cross  with  the  rational  intellect  as 
the  head  or  upper  limb. 

The  fingers  and  toes  also  have  special  significance.  The  toes  represent  the  Ten  Commandments  of  the 
physical  law  and  the  fingers  the  Ten  Commandments  of  the  spiritual  law.  The  four  fingers  of  each 
hand  represent  the  four  elements  and  the  three  phalanges  of  each  finger  represent  the  divisions  of  the 
element,  so  that  in  each  hand  there  are  twelve  parts  to  the  fingers,  which  are  analogous  to  the  signs  of 
the  zodiac,  whereas  the  two  phalanges  and  base  of  each  thumb  signify  the  threefold  Deity.  The  first 
phalange  corresponds  to  the  creative  aspect,  the  second  to  the  preservative  aspect,  and  the  base  to  the 
generative  and  destructive  aspect.  When  the  hands  are  brought  together,  the  result  is  the  twenty-four 
Elders  and  the  six  Days  of  Creation. 

In  symbolism  the  body  is  divided  vertically  into  halves,  the  right  half  being  considered  as  light  and 
the  left  half  as  darkness.  By  those  unacquainted  with  the  true  meanings  of  light  and  darkness  the  light 
half  was  denominated  spiritual  and  the  left  half  material.  Light  is  the  symbol  of  objectivity;  darkness 
of  subjectivity.  Light  is  a  manifestation  of  life  and  is  therefore  posterior  to  life.  That  which  is  anterior 
to  light  is  darkness,  in  which  light  exists  temporarily  but  darkness  permanently.  As  life  precedes  light, 
its  only  symbol  is  darkness,  and  darkness  is  considered  as  the  veil  which  must  eternally  conceal  the 
true  nature  of  abstract  and  undifferentiated  Being. 

In  ancient  times  men  fought  with  their  right  arms  and  defended  the  vital  centers  with  their  left  arms, 
on  which  was  carried  the  protecting  shield.  The  right  half  of  the  body  was  regarded  therefore  as 
offensive  and  the  left  half  defensive.  For  this  reason  also  the  right  side  of  the  body  was  considered 

masculine  and  the  left  side  feminine.  Several  authorities  are  of  the  opinion  that  the  present  prevalent 

right-handedness  of  the  race  is  the  outgrowth  of  the  custom  of  holding  the  left  hand  in  restraint  for 
defensive  purposes.  Furthermore,  as  the  source  of  Being  is  in  the  primal  darkness  which  preceded 
light,  so  the  spiritual  nature  of  man  is  in  the  dark  part  of  his  being,  for  the  heart  is  on  the  left  side. 

Among  the  curious  misconceptions  arising  from  the  false  practice  of  associating  darkness  with  evil  is 
one  by  which  several  early  nations  used  the  right  hand  for  all  constructive  labors  and  the  left  hand  for 
only  those  purposes  termed  unclean  and  unfit  for  the  sight  of  the  gods.  For  the  same  reason  black 
magic  was  often  referred  to  as  the  left-hand  path,  and  heaven  was  said  to  be  upon  the  right  and  hell 
upon  the  left.  Some  philosophers  further  declared  that  there  were  two  methods  of  writing:  one  from 
left  to  right,  which  was  considered  the  exoteric  method;  the  other  from  right  to  left,  which  was 
considered  esoteric.  The  exoteric  writing  was  that  which  was  done  out  or  away  from  the  heart,  while 
the  esoteric  writing  was  that  which—like  the  ancient  Hebrew—was  written  toward  the  heart. 

The  secret  doctrine  declares  that  every  part  and  member  of  the  body  is  epitomized  in  the  brain  and,  in 
turn,  that  all  that  is  in  the  brain  is  epitomized  in  the  heart.  In  symbolism  the  human  head  is 
frequently  used  to  represent  intelligence  and  self-knowledge.  As  the  human  body  in  its  entirety  is  the 
most  perfect  known  product  of  the  earth's  evolution,  it  was  employed  to  represent  Divinity— the 
highest  appreciable  state  or  condition.  Artists,  attempting  to  portray  Divinity,  often  show  only  a  hand 
emerging  from  an  impenetrable  cloud.  The  cloud  signifies  the  Unknowable  Divinity  concealed  from 
man  by  human  limitation.  The  hand  signifies  the  Divine  activity,  the  only  part  of  God  which  is 
cognizable  to  the  lower  senses. 

The  face  consists  of  a  natural  trinity:  the  eyes  representing  the  spiritual  power  which  comprehends; 
the  nostrils  representing  the  preservative  and  vivifying  power;  and  the  mouth  and  ears  representing 
the  material  Demiurgic  power  of  the  lower  world.  The  first  sphere  is  eternally  existent  and  is  creative; 
the  second  sphere  pertains  to  the  mystery  of  the  creative  breach;  and  the  third  sphere 


Redrawn  from  Gichtel's  Theosophia  Practica. 

Johann  Georg  Gichtel,  a  profound  Philosopher  and  mystic,  the  most  illumined  of  the  disciples  of  Jakob  Bohme,  secretly 
circulated  the  above  diagrams  among  a  small  group  of  devoted  friends  and  students.  Gichtel  republished  the  writings  of 
Bohme,  illustrating  them  with  numerous  remarkable  figures.  According  to  Gichtel,  the  diagrams  above,  represent  the 
anatomy  of  the  divine  (or  inner)  man,  and  graphically  set  forth  its  condition  during  its  human,  infernal,  and  divine  states. 
The  plates  in  the  William  Law  edition  of  Bohme's  works  are  based  apparently  upon  Gichtel's  diagrams,  which  they  follow 

in  all  essentials.  Gichtel  gives  no  detailed  description  of  his  figures,  and  the  lettering  on  the  original  diagrams  here 
translated  out  of  the  German  is  the  only  clue  to  the  interpretation  of  the  charts. 

The  two  end  figures  represent  the  obverse  and  reverse  of  the  same  diagram  and  are  termed  Table  Three.  They  are 
"designed  to  show  the  Condition  of  the  whole  Man,  as  to  all  his  three  essential  Parts,  Spirit,  Soul,  and  Body,  in  his 
Regenerated  State."  The  third  figure  from  the  left  is  called  the  Second  Table,  and  sets  forth  "the  Condition  of  Man  in  his 
old,  lapsed,  and  corrupted  State;  without  any  respect  to,  or  consideration  of  his  renewing  by  regeneration."  The  third 
figure,  however,  does  not  correspond  with  the  First  Table  of  William  Law.  The  First  Table  presumably  represents  the 
condition  of  humanity  before  the  Fall,  but  the  Gichtel  plate  pertains  to  the  third,  or  regenerated,  state  of  mankind. 
William  Law  thus  describes  the  purpose  of  the  diagrams,  and  the  symbols  upon  them:  "These  three  tables  are  designed  to 
represent  Man  in  his  different  Threefold  State:  the  First  before  his  Fall,  in  Purity,  Dominion,  and  Glory:  the  Second  after 
his  Fall,  in  Pollution  and  Perdition:  and  the  Third  in  his  rising  from  the  Fall,  or  on  the  Way  of  regeneration,  in 
Sanctification  and  Tendency  to  his  last  Perfection."  The  student  of  Orientalism  will  immediately  recognize  in  the  symbols 
upon  the  figures  the  Hindu  chakras,  or  centers  of  spiritual  force,  the  various  motions  and  aspects  of  which  reveal  the 
condition  of  the  disciple's  internal  divine  nature. 

p.  76 

to  the  creative  word.  By  the  Word  of  God  the  material  universe  was  fabricated,  and  the  seven  creative 
powers,  or  vowel  sounds—which  had  been  brought  into  existence  by  the  speaking  of  the  Word- 
became  the  seven  Elohim  or  Deities  by  whose  power  and  ministration  the  lower  world  was  organized. 
Occasionally  the  Deity  is  symbolized  by  an  eye,  an  ear,  a  nose,  or  a  mouth.  By  the  first,  Divine 
awareness  is  signified;  by  the  second.  Divine  interest;  by  the  third.  Divine  vitality;  and  by  the  fourth. 
Divine  command. 

The  ancients  did  not  believe  that  spirituality  made  men  either  righteous  or  rational,  but  rather  that 
righteousness  and  rationality  made  men  spiritual.  The  Mysteries  taught  that  spiritual  illumination 
was  attained  only  by  bringing  the  lower  nature  up  to  a  certain  standard  of  efficiency  and  purity.  The 
Mysteries  were  therefore  established  for  the  purpose  of  unfolding  the  nature  of  man  according  to 
certain  fixed  rules  which,  when  faithfully  followed,  elevated  the  human  consciousness  to  a  point 
where  it  was  capable  of  cognizing  its  own  constitution  and  the  true  purpose  of  existence.  This 
knowledge  of  how  man's  manifold  constitution  could  be  most  quickly  and  most  completely 
regenerated  to  the  point  of  spiritual  illumination  constituted  the  secret,  or  esoteric,  doctrine  of 
antiquity.  Certain  apparently  physical  organs  and  centers  are  in  reality  the  veils  or  sheaths  of  spiritual 
centers.  What  these  were  and  how  they  could  be  unfolded  was  never  revealed  to  the  unregenerate,  for 
the  philosophers  realized  that  once  he  understands  the  complete  working  of  any  system,  a  man  may 
accomplish  a  prescribed  end  without  being  qualified  to  manipulate  and  control  the  effects  which  he 
has  produced.  For  this  reason  long  periods  of  probation  were  imposed,  so  that  the  knowledge  of  how 
to  become  as  the  gods  might  remain  the  sole  possession  of  the  worthy. 

Lest  that  knowledge  be  lost,  however,  it  was  concealed  in  allegories  and  myths  which  were 
meaningless  to  the  profane  but  self-evident  to  those  acquainted  with  that  theory  of  personal 
redemption  which  was  the  foundation  of  philosophical  theology.  Christianity  itself  maybe  cited  as  an 
example.  The  entire  New  Testament  is  in  fact  an  ingeniously  concealed  exposition  of  the  secret 
processes  of  human  regeneration.  The  characters  so  long  considered  as  historical  men  and  women  are 
really  the  personification  of  certain  processes  which  take  place  in  the  human  body  when  man  begins 
the  task  of  consciously  liberating  himself  from  the  bondage  of  ignorance  and  death. 

The  garments  and  ornamentations  supposedly  worn  by  the  gods  are  also  keys,  for  in  the  Mysteries 
clothing  was  considered  as  synonymous  with  form.  The  degree  of  spirituality  or  materiality  of  the 
organisms  was  signified  by  the  quality,  beauty,  and  value  of  the  garments  worn.  Man's  physical  body 
was  looked  upon  as  the  robe  of  his  spiritual  nature;  consequently,  the  more  developed  were  his  super- 
substantial  powers  the  more  glorious  his  apparel.  Of  course,  clothing  was  originally  worn  for 
ornamentation  rather  than  protection,  and  such  practice  still  prevails  among  many  primitive  peoples. 
The  Mysteries  caught  that  man's  only  lasting  adornments  were  his  virtues  and  worthy  characteristics; 

that  he  was  clothed  in  his  own  accompHshments  and  adorned  by  his  attainments.  Thus  the  white  robe 
was  symbolic  of  purity,  the  red  robe  of  sacrifice  and  love,  and  the  blue  robe  of  altruism  and  integrity. 
Since  the  body  was  said  to  be  the  robe  of  the  spirit,  mental  or  moral  deformities  were  depicted  as 
deformities  of  the  body. 

Considering  man's  body  as  the  measuring  rule  of  the  universe,  the  philosophers  declared  that  all 
things  resemble  in  constitution—if  not  in  form— the  human  body.  The  Greeks,  for  example,  declared 
Delphi  to  be  the  navel  of  the  earth,  for  the  physical  planet  was  looked  upon  as  a  gigantic  human  being 
twisted  into  the  form  of  a  ball.  In  contradistinction  to  the  belief  of  Christendom  that  the  earth  is  an 
inanimate  thing,  the  pagans  considered  not  only  the  earth  but  also  all  the  sidereal  bodies  as 
individual  creatures  possessing  individual  intelligences.  They  even  went  so  far  as  to  view  the  various 
kingdoms  of  Nature  as  individual  entities.  The  animal  kingdom,  for  example,  was  looked  upon  as  one 
being—a  composite  of  all  the  creatures  composing  that  kingdom.  This  prototypic  beast  was  a  mosaic 
embodiment  of  all  animal  propensities  and  within  its  nature  the  entire  animal  world  existed  as  the 
human  species  exists  within  the  constitution  of  the  prototypic  Adam. 

In  the  same  manner,  races,  nations,  tribes,  religions,  states,  communities,  and  cities  were  viewed  as 
composite  entities,  each  made  up  of  varying  numbers  of  individual  units.  Every  community  has  an 
individuality  which  is  the  sum  of  the  individual  attitudes  of  its  inhabitants.  Every  religion  is  an 
individual  whose  body  is  made  up  of  a  hierarchy  and  vast  host  of  individual  worshipers.  The 
organization  of  any  religion  represents  its  physical  body,  and  its  individual  members  the  cell  life 
making  up  this  organism.  Accordingly,  religions,  races,  and  communities— like  individuals— pass 
through  Shakespeare's  Seven  Ages,  for  the  life  of  man  is  a  standard  by  which  the  perpetuity  of  all 
things  is  estimated. 

According  to  the  secret  doctrine,  man,  through  the  gradual  refinement  of  his  vehicles  and  the  ever- 
increasing  sensitiveness  resulting  from  that  refinement,  is  gradually  overcoming  the  limitations  of 
matter  and  is  disentangling  himself  from  his  mortal  coil.  When  humanity  has  completed  its  physical 
evolution,  the  empty  shell  of  materiality  left  behind  will  be  used  by  other  life  waves  as  steppingstones 
to  their  own  liberation.  The  trend  of  man's  evolutionary  growth  is  ever  toward  his  own  essential 
Selfhood.  At  the  point  of  deepest  materialism,  therefore,  man  is  at  the  greatest  distance  from  Himself. 
According  to  the  Mystery  teachings,  not  all  the  spiritual  nature  of  man  incarnates  in  matter.  The  spirit 
of  man  is  diagrammatically  shown  as  an  equilateral  triangle  with  one  point  downward.  This  lower 
point,  which  is  one-third  of  the  spiritual  nature  but  in  comparison  to  the  dignity  of  the  other  two  is 
much  less  than  a  third,  descends  into  the  illusion  of  material  existence  for  a  brief  space  of  time.  That 
which  never  clothes  itself  in  the  sheath  of  matter  is  the  Hermetic  Anf/iropos— the  Overman- 
analogous  to  the  Cyclops  or  guardian  daemon  of  the  Greeks,  the  angel  of  Jakob  Bohme,  and  the 
Oversoul  of  Emerson,  "that  Unity,  that  Oversoul,  within  which  every  man's  particular  being  is 
contained  and  made  one  with  all  other." 

At  birth  only  a  third  part  of  the  Divine  Nature  of  man  temporarily  dissociates  itself  from  its  own 
immortality  and  takes  upon  itself  the  dream  of  physical  birth  and  existence,  animating  with  its  own 
celestial  enthusiasm  a  vehicle  composed  of  material  elements,  part  of  and  bound  to  the  material 
sphere.  At  death  this  incarnated  part  awakens  from  the  dream  of  physical  existence  and  reunites  itself 
once  more  with  its  eternal  condition.  This  periodical  descent  of  spirit  into  matter  is  termed  the  wheel 
of  life  and  death,  and  the  principles  involved  are  treated  at  length  by  the  philosophers  under  the 
subject  of  metempsychosis.  By  initiation  into  the  Mysteries  and  a  certain  process  known  as  operative 
theology,  this  law  of  birth  and  death  is  transcended,  and  during  the  course  of  physical  existence  that 
part  of  the  spirit  which  is  asleep  in  form  is  awakened  without  the  intervention  of  death— the  inevitable 
Initiator— and  is  consciously  reunited  with  the  Anthropos,  or  the  overshadowing  substance  of  itself. 
This  is  at  once  the  primary  purpose  and  the  consummate  achievement  of  the  Mysteries:  that  man 
shall  become  aware  of  and  consciously  be  reunited  with  the  divine  source  of  himself  without  tasting  of 
physical  dissolution. 


From  Law's  Figures  of  Jakob  Bohme. 

Just  as  the  diagram  representing  the  front  view  of  man  illustrates  his  divine  principles  in  their  regenerated  state,  so  the 
back  view  of  the  same  figure  sets  forth  the  inferior,  or  "night,"  condition  of  the  sun.  From  the  Sphere  of  the  Astral  Mind  a 
line  ascends  through  the  Sphere  of  reason  into  that  of  the  Senses.  The  Sphere  of  the  Astral  Mind  and  of  the  Senses  are 
filled  with  stars  to  signify  the  nocturnal  condition  of  their  natures.  In  the  sphere  of  reason,  the  superior  and  the  inferior 
are  reconciled,  Reason  in  the  mortal  man  corresponding  to  Illumined  Understanding  in  the  spiritual  man. 


From  Law's  Figures  of  Jakob  Bohme. 

A  tree  with  its  roots  in  the  heart  rises  from  the  Mirror  of  the  Deity  through  the  Sphere  of  the  Understanding  to  branch 
forth  in  the  Sphere  of  the  Senses.  The  roots  and  trunk  of  this  tree  represent  the  divine  nature  of  man  and  may  be  called  his 
spirituality;  the  branches  of  the  tree  are  the  separate  parts  of  the  divine  constitution  and  may  be  likened  to  the 
individuality;  and  the  leaves—because  of  their  ephemeral  nature—correspond  to  the  personality,  which  partakes  of  none 
of  the  permanence  of  its  divine  source. 

The  Hiramic  Legend 


WHEN  Solomon—the  beloved  of  God,  builder  of  the  Everlasting  House,  and  Grand  Master  of  the 
Lodge  of  Jerusalem—ascended  the  throne  of  his  father  David  he  consecrated  his  life  to  the  erection  of 
a  temple  to  God  and  a  palace  for  the  kings  of  Israel.  David's  faithful  friend,  Hiram,  King  of  Tyre, 
hearing  that  a  son  of  David  sat  upon  the  throne  of  Israel,  sent  messages  of  congratulation  and  offers 
of  assistance  to  the  new  ruler.  In  his  History  of  the  Jews,  Josephus  mentions  that  copies  of  the  letters 
passing  between  the  two  kings  were  then  to  be  seen  both  at  Jerusalem  and  at  Tyre.  Despite  Hiram's 
lack  of  appreciation  for  the  twenty  cities  of  Galilee  which  Solomon  presented  to  him  upon  the 
completion  of  the  temple,  the  two  monarchs  remained  the  best  of  friends.  Both  were  famous  for  their 
wit  and  wisdom,  and  when  they  exchanged  letters  each  devised  puzzling  questions  to  test  the  mental 
ingenuity  of  the  other.  Solomon  made  an  agreement  with  Hiram  of  Tyre  promising  vast  amounts  of 
barley,  wheat,  com,  wine,  and  oil  as  wages  for  the  masons  and  carpenters  from  Tyre  who  were  to 
assist  the  Jews  in  the  erection  of  the  temple.  Hiram  also  supplied  cedars  and  other  fine  trees,  which 
were  made  into  rafts  and  floated  down  the  sea  to  Joppa,  whence  they  were  taken  inland  by  Solomon's 
workmen  to  the  temple  site. 

Because  of  his  great  love  for  Solomon,  Hiram  of  Tyre  sent  also  the  Grand  Master  of  the  Dionysiac 
Architects,  CHiram  Abiff,  a  Widow's  Son,  who  had  no  equal  among  the  craftsmen  of  the  earth. 
CHiram  is  described  as  being  "a  Tyrian  by  birch,  but  of  Israelitish  descent,"  and  "a  second  Bezaleel, 
honored  by  his  king  with  the  title  of  Father."  The  Freemason's  Pocket  Companion  (published  in  1771) 
describes  CHiram  as  "the  most  cunning,  skilful  and  curious  workman  that  ever  lived,  whose  abilities 
were  not  confined  to  building  alone,  but  extended  to  all  kinds  of  work,  whether  in  gold,  silver,  brass 
or  iron;  whether  in  linen,  tapestry,  or  embroidery;  whether  considered  as  an  architect,  statuary  [sic]; 
founder  or  designer,  separately  or  together,  he  equally  excelled.  From  his  designs,  and  under  his 
direction,  all  the  rich  and  splendid  furniture  of  the  Temple  and  its  several  appendages  were  begun, 
carried  on,  and  finished.  Solomon  appointed  him,  in  his  absence,  to  fill  the  chair,  as  Deputy  Grand- 
Master;  and  in  his  presence.  Senior  Grand-Warden,  Master  of  work,  and  general  overseer  of  all  artists, 
as  well  those  whom  David  had  formerly  procured  from  Tyre  and  Sidon,  as  those  Hiram  should  now 
send."  (Modem  Masonic  writers  differ  as  to  the  accuracy  of  the  last  sentence.) 

Although  an  immense  amount  of  labor  was  involved  in  its  construction,  Solomon's  Temple— in  the 
words  of  George  Oliver— "was  only  a  small  building  and  very  inferior  in  point  of  size  to  some  of  our 
churches."  The  number  of  buildings  contiguous  to  it  and  the  vast  treasure  of  gold  and  precious  stones 
used  in  its  construction  concentrated  a  great  amount  of  wealth  within  the  temple  area.  In  the  midst  of 
the  temple  stood  the  Holy  of  Holies,  sometimes  called  the  Oracle.  It  was  an  exact  cube,  each 
dimension  being  twenty  cubits,  and  exemplified  the  influence  of  Egyptian  symbolism.  The  buildings 
of  the  temple  group  were  ornamented  with  1,453  columns  of  Parian  marble,  magnificently  sculptured, 
and  2,906  pilasters  decorated  with  capitals.  There  was  a  broad  porch  facing  the  east,  and  the  sanctum 
sanctorum  was  upon  the  west.  According  to  tradition,  the  various  buildings  and  courtyards  could 
hold  in  all  300,000  persons.  Both  the  Sanctuary  and  the  Holy  of  Holies  were  entirely  lined  with  solid 
gold  plates  encrusted  with  jewels. 

King  Solomon  began  the  building  of  the  temple  in  the  fourth  year  of  his  reign  on  what  would  be, 
according  to  modern  calculation,  the  21st  day  of  April,  and  finished  it  in  the  eleventh  year  of  his  reign 
on  the  23rd  day  of  October.  The  temple  was  begun  in  the  480th  year  after  the  children  of  Israel  had 
passed  the  Red  Sea.  Part  of  the  labor  of  construction  included  the  building  of  an  artificial  foundation 
on  the  brow  of  Mount  Moriah.  The  stones  for  the  temple  were  hoisted  from  quarries  directly  beneath 
Mount  Moriah  and  were  trued  before  being  brought  to  the  surface.  The  brass  and  golden  ornaments 
for  the  temple  were  cast  in  molds  in  the  clay  ground  between  Succoth  and  Zeredatha,  and  the  wooden 

parts  were  all  finished  before  they  reached  the  temple  site.  The  building  was  put  together, 
consequently,  without  sound  and  without  instruments,  all  its  parts  fitting  exactly  "without  the 
hammer  of  contention,  the  axe  of  division,  or  any  tool  of  mischief." 

Anderson's  much-discussed  Constitutions  of  the  Free-Masons,  published  in  London  in  1723,  and 
reprinted  by  Benjamin  Franklin  in  Philadelphia  in  1734,  thus  describes  the  division  of  the  laborers 
engaged  in  the  building  of  the  Everlasting  House: 

"But  Dagon's  Temple,  and  the  finest  structures  of  Tyre  and  Sidon,  could  not  be  compared  with  the 
Eternal  God's  Temple  at  Jerusalem,  *  *  *  there  were  employed  about  it  no  less  than  3,600  Princes,  or 
Master-Masons,  to  conduct  the  work  according  to  Solomon's  directions,  with  80,000  hewers  of  stone 
in  the  mountain,  or  Fellow  Craftsmen,  and  70,000  labourers,  in  all  153,600  besides  the  levy  under 
Adoniram  to  work  in  the  mountains  of  Lebanon  by  turns  with  the  Sidonians,  viz.,  30,000,  being  in  all 
183,600."  Daniel  Sickels  gives  3,300  overseers,  instead  of  3,600,  and  lists  the  three  Grand  Masters 
separately.  The  same  author  estimates  the  cost  of  the  temple  at  nearly  four  thousand  millions  of 

The  Masonic  legend  of  the  building  of  Solomon's  Temple  does  not  in  every  particular  parallel  the 
Scriptural  version,  especially  in  those  portions  relating  to  CHiram  Abiff.  According  to  the  Biblical 
account,  this  Master  workman  returned  to  his  own  country;  in  the  Masonic  allegory  he  is  foully 
murdered.  On  this  point  A.  E.  Waite,  in  his  New  Encyclopaedia  of  Freemasonry,  makes  the  following 
explanatory  comment: 

"The  legend  of  the  Master-Builder  is  the  great  allegory  of  Masonry.  It  happens  that  his  figurative  story 
is  grounded  on  the  fact  of  a  personality  mentioned  in  Holy  Scripture,  but  this  historical  background  is 
of  the  accidents  and  not  the  essence;  the  significance  is  in  the  allegory  and  not  in  any  point  of  history 
which  may  lie  behind  it." 

CHiram,  as  Master  of  the  Builders,  divided  his  workmen  into  three  groups,  which  were  termed 
Entered  Apprentices,  Felloiv-Craftsmen,  and  Master  Masons.  To  each  division  he  gave  certain 


From  an  early  hand-painted  Masonic  apron. 

while  the  mystic  symboHsm  of  Freemasonry  decrees  that  the  apron  shall  be  a  simple  square  of  white  lambskin  with 
appropriate  flap,  Masonic  aprons  are  frequently  decorated  with  curious  and  impressive  figures.  "When  silk  cotton,  or 
linen  is  worn,"  writes  Albert  Pike,  "the  symbolism  is  lost.  Nor  is  one  clothed  who  blots,  defaces,  and  desecrates  the  white 
surface  with  ornamentation,  figuring,  or  colors  of  any  kind."  (See  Symbolism.) 

To  Mars,  the  ancient  plane  of  cosmic  energy,  the  Atlantean  and  Chaldean  "star  gazers"  assigned  Aries  as  a  diurnal  throne 
and  Scorpio  as  a  nocturnal  throne.  Those  not  raised  to  spiritual  life  by  initiation  are  described  as  "dead  from  the  sting  of  a 
scorpion,"  for  they  wander  in  the  night  side  of  divine  power.  Through  the  mystery  of  the  Paschal  Lamb,  or  the  attainment 
of  the  Golden  Fleece,  these  soul  are  raised  into  the  constructive  day  Power  of  Mars  in  Aries—the  symbol  of  the  Creator. 

When  worn  over  the  area  related  to  the  animal  passions,  the  pure  lambskin  signifies  the  regeneration  of  the  procreative 
forces  and  their  consecration  to  the  service  of  the  Deity.  The  size  of  the  apron,  exclusive  of  the  flap,  makes  it  the  symbol  of 
salvation,  for  the  Mysteries  declare  that  it  must  consist  of  144  square  inches. 

The  apron  shown  above  contains  a  wealth  of  symbolism:  the  beehive,  emblematic  of  the  Masonic  lodge  itself,  the  trowel, 
the  mallet,  and  the  trestleboad;  the  rough  and  trued  ashlars;  the  pyramids  and  hills  of  Lebanon;  the  pillars,  the  Temple, 
and  checkerboard  floor;  and  the  blazing  star  and  tools  of  the  Craft.  The  center  of  the  apron  is  occupied  by  the  compass 
and  square,  representative  of  the  Macrocosm  an  the  microcosm,  and  the  alternately  black  and  white  serpent  of  astral  light. 
Below  is  an  acacia  branch  with  seven  sprigs,  signifying  the  life  Centers  of  the  superior  and  the  inferior  man.  The  skull  and 
cross  bones  are  a  continual  reminder  that  the  spiritual  nature  attains  liberation  only  after  the  philosophical  death  of  man's 
sensuous  personality. 

p.  78 

passwords  and  signs  by  which  their  respective  excellence  could  be  quickly  determined.  While  all  were 
classified  according  to  their  merits  some  were  dissatisfied,  for  they  desired  a  more  exalted  position 
than  they  were  capable  of  filling.  At  last  three  Fellow-Craftsmen,  more  daring  than  their  companions, 
determined  to  force  CHiram  to  reveal  to  them  the  password  of  the  Master's  degree.  Knowing  that 
CHiram  always  went  into  the  unfinished  sanctum  sanctorum  at  high  noon  to  pray,  these  ruffians— 
whose  names  were  Jubela,  Jubelo,  and  Jubelum~lay  in  wait  for  him,  one  at  each  of  the  main  gates  of 
the  temple.  CHiram,  about  to  leave  the  temple  by  the  south  gate,  was  suddenly  confronted  by  Jubela 
armed  with  a  twenty-four-inch  gauge.  Upon  CHiram's  refusal  to  reveal  the  Master's  Word,  the  ruffian 
struck  him  on  the  throat  with  the  rule,  and  the  wounded  Master  then  hastened  to  the  west  gate,  where 
Jubelo,  armed  with  a  square,  awaited  him  and  made  a  similar  demand.  Again  CHiram  was  silent,  and 
the  second  assassin  struck  him  on  the  breast  with  the  square.  CHiram  thereupon  staggered  to  the  east 
gate,  only  to  be  met  there  by  Jubelum  armed  with  a  maul.  When  CHiram,  refused  him  the  Master's 
Word,  Jubelum  struck  the  Master  between  the  eyes  with  the  mallet  and  CHiram  fell  dead. 

The  body  of  CHiram  was  buried  by  the  murderers  over  the  brow  of  Mount  Moriah  and  a  sprig  of 
acacia  placed  upon  the  grave.  The  murderers  then  sought  to  escape  punishment  for  their  crime  by 
embarking  for  Ethiopia,  but  the  port  was  closed.  All  three  were  finally  captured,  and  after  admitting 
their  guilt  were  duly  executed.  Parties  of  three  were  then  sent  out  by  King  Solomon,  and  one  of  these 
groups  discovered  the  newly  made  grave  marked  by  the  evergreen  sprig.  After  the  Entered 
Apprentices  and  the  Fellow-Craftsmen  had  failed  to  resurrect  their  Master  from  the  dead  he  was 
finally  raised  by  the  Master  Mason  with  the  "strong  grip  of  a  Lion's  Paw." 

To  the  initiated  Builder  the  name  CHiram  Abiffsigmfies  "My  Father,  the  Universal  Spirit,  one  in 
essence,  three  in  aspect."  Thus  the  murdered  Master  is  a  type  of  the  Cosmic  Martyr—the  crucified 
Spirit  of  Good,  the  dying  god— whose  Mystery  is  celebrated  throughout  the  world.  Among  the 
manuscripts  of  Dr.  Sigismund  Bastrom,  the  initiated  Rosicrucian,  appears  the  following  extract  from 
von  Welling  concerning  the  true  philosophic  nature  of  the  Masonic  CHiram: 

"The  original  word  DTn,  CHiram,  is  a  radical  word  consisting  of  three  consonants  "i  n  and  d  i.  e.  Cheth, 
Resh  and  Mem.  (1)  n,  Cheth,  signifies  Chamah,  the  Sun's  light,  i.  e.  the  Universal,  invisible,  cold  fire 
of  Nature  attracted  by  the  Sun,  manifested  into  light  and  sent  down  to  us  and  to  every  planetary  body 
belonging  to  the  solar  system.  (2)  i,  Resh,  signifies  nn  Ruach,  i.  e.  Spirit,  air,  wind,  as  being  the 

Vehicle  which  conveys  and  collects  the  light  into  numberless  Foci,  wherein  the  solar  rays  of  light  are 
agitated  by  a  circular  motion  and  manifested  in  Heat  and  burning  Fire.  (3)  a,  or  a  Mem,  signifies 
majim,  water,  humidity,  but  rather  the  mother  of  water,  i.  e.  Radical  Humidity  or  a  particular  kind  of 
condensed  air.  These  three  constitute  the  Universal  Agent  or  fire  of  Nature  in  one  word,  m^n,  CHiram, 
not  Hiram." 

Albert  Pike  mentions  several  forms  of  the  name  CHiram:  Khirm,  Khurm,  and  Khur-Om,  the  latter 
ending  in  the  sacred  Hindu  monosyllable  OM,  which  may  also  be  extracted  from  the  names  of  the 
three  murderers.  Pike  further  relates  the  three  ruffians  to  a  triad  of  stars  in  the  constellation  of  Libra 
and  also  calls  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  Chaldean  god  Bal~metamorphosed  into  a  demon  by  the 
Jews—appears  in  the  name  of  each  of  the  murderers,  Jube/a,  Jube/o,  and  Ju5e/um.  To  interpret  the 
Hiramic  legend  requires  familiarity  with  both  the  Pythagorean  and  Qabbalistic  systems  of  numbers 
and  letters,  and  also  the  philosophic  and  astronomic  cycles  of  the  Egyptians,  Chaldeans,  and 
Brahmins.  For  example,  consider  the  number  33.  The  first  temple  of  Solomon  stood  for  thirty-three 
years  in  its  pristine  splendor.  At  the  end  of  that  time  it  was  pillaged  by  the  Egyptian  King  Shishak, 
and  finally  (588  B.C.)  it  was  completely  destroyed  by  Nebuchadnezzar  and  the  people  of  Jerusalem 
were  led  into  captivity  to  Babylon.  (See  General  History  of  Freemasonry,  by  Robert  Macoy.)  Also 
King  David  ruled  for  thirty-three  years  in  Jerusalem;  the  Masonic  Order  is  divided  into  thirty-three 
symbolic  degrees;  there  are  thirty-three  segments  in  the  human  spinal  column;  and  Jesus  was 
crucified  in  the  thirty-third  year  of  His  life. 

The  efforts  made  to  discover  the  origin  of  the  Hiramic  legend  show  that,  while  the  legend  in  its 
present  form  is  comparatively  modem,  its  underlying  principles  run  back  to  remotest  antiquity.  It  is 
generally  admitted  by  modem  Masonic  scholars  that  the  story  of  the  martyred  CHiram  is  based  upon 
the  Egyptian  rites  of  Osiris,  whose  death  and  resurrection  figuratively  portrayed  the  spiritual  death  of 
man  and  his  regeneration  through  initiation  into  the  Mysteries.  CHiram  is  also  identified  with 
Hermes  through  the  inscription  on  the  Emerald  Table.  From  these  associations  it  is  evident  that 
CHiram  is  to  be  considered  as  a  prototype  of  humanity;  in  fact  he  is  Plato's  Idea  (archetype)  of  man. 
As  Adam  after  the  Fall  symbolizes  the  Idea  of  human  degeneration,  so  CHiram  through  his 
resurrection  symbolizes  the  Idea  of  human  regeneration. 

On  the  19th  day  of  March,  1314,  Jacques  de  Molay,  the  last  Grand  Master  of  the  Knights  Templars, 
was  burned  on  a  pyre  erected  upon  that  point  of  the  islet  of  the  Seine,  at  Paris,  where  afterwards  was 
erected  the  statue  of  King  Henry  IV.  (See  The  Indian  Religions,  by  Hargrave  Jennings.)  "It  is 
mentioned  as  a  tradition  in  some  of  the  accounts  of  the  burning,"  writes  Jennings,  "that  Molay,  ere  he 
expired,  summoned  Clement,  the  Pope  who  had  pronounced  the  bull  of  abolition  against  the  Order 
and  had  condemned  the  Grand  Master  to  the  flames,  to  appear,  within  forty  days,  before  the  Supreme 
Eternal  judge,  and  Philip  [the  king]  to  the  same  awful  tribunal  within  the  space  of  a  year.  Both 
predictions  were  fulfilled."  The  close  relationship  between  Freemasonry  and  the  original  Knights 
Templars  has  caused  the  story  of  CHiram  to  be  linked  with  the  martyrdom  of  Jacques  de  Molay. 
According  to  this  interpretation,  the  three  ruffians  who  cruelly  slew  their  Master  at  the  gates  of  the 
temple  because  he  refused  to  reveal  the  secrets  of  his  Order  represent  the  Pope,  the  king,  and  the 
executioners.  De  Molay  died  maintaining  his  innocence  and  refusing  to  disclose  the  philosophical  and 
magical  arcana  of  the  Templars. 

Those  who  have  sought  to  identify  CHiram  with  the  murdered  King  Charles  the  First  conceive  the 
Hiramic  legend  to  have  been  invented  for  that  purpose  by  Elias  Ashmole,  a  mystical  philosopher,  who 
was  probably  a  member  of  the  Rosicrucian  Fraternity.  Charles  was  dethroned  in  1647  and  died  on  the 
block  in  1649,  leaving  the  Royalist  party  leaderless.  An  attempt  has  been  made  to  relate  the  term  "the 
Sons  of  the  Widow"  (an  appellation  frequently  applied  to  members  of  the  Masonic  Order)  to  this 
incident  in  English  history,  for  by  the  murder  of  her  king  England  became  a  Widow  and  all 
Englishmen  Widow's  Sons. 

To  the  mystic  Christian  Mason,  CHiram.  represents  the  Christ  who  in  three  days  (degrees)  raised  the 
temple  of  His  body  from  its  earthly  sepulcher.  His  three  murderers  were  Csesar's  agent  (the  state),  the 
Sanhedrin  (the  church),  and  the  incited  populace  (the  mob).  Thus  considered,  CHiram  becomes  the 
higher  nature  of  man  and  the  murderers  are  ignorance,  superstition,  and  fear.  The  indwelling  Christ 
can  give  expression  to  Himself  in  this  world  only  through  man's  thoughts,  feelings,  and  actions.  Right 
thinking,  right  feeling,  and  right  action—these  are  three  gates  through  which  the  Christ  power  passes 
into  the  material  world,  there  to  labor  in  the  erection  of  the  Temple  of  Universal  Brotherhood. 
Ignorance,  superstition,  and  fear  are  three  ruffians  through  whose  agencies  the  Spirit  of  Good  is 
murdered  and  a  false  kingdom,  controlled  by  wrong  thinking,  wrong  feeling,  and  wrong  action, 
established  in  its  stead.  In  the  material  universe  evil  appears  ever  victorious. 

"In  this  sense,"  writes  Daniel  Sickels,  "the  myth  of  the  Tyrian  is  perpetually  repeated  in  the  history  of 
human  affairs.  Orpheus  was  murdered,  and  his  body  thrown  into  the  Hebrus;  Socrates  was  made  to 
drink  the  hemlock;  and,  in  all  ages,  we  have  seen  Evil  temporarily  triumphant,  and  Virtue  and  Truth 
calumniated,  persecuted,  crucified,  and  slain.  But  Eternal  justice  marches  surely  and  swiftly  through 
the  world:  the  Typhous,  the  children  of  darkness,  the  plotters  of  crime,  all  the  infinitely  varied  forms 
of  evil,  are  swept  into  oblivion;  and  Truth  and  Virtue—for  a  time  laid  low— come  forth,  clothed  with 
diviner  majesty,  and  crowned  with  everlasting  glory!"  (See  General  Ahiman  Rezon.) 

If,  as  there  is  ample  reason  to  suspect,  the  modern  Freemasonic  Order  was  profoundly  influenced  by, 
if  it  is  not  an  actual  outgrowth  of,  Francis  Bacon's  secret  society,  its  symbolism  is  undoubtedly 
permeated  with  Bacon's  two  great  ideals:  universal  education  and  universal  democracy.  The  deadly 
enemies  of  universal  education  are  ignorance,  superstition,  and  fear,  by  which  the  human  soul  is  held 
in  bondage  to  the  lowest  part  of  its  own  constitution.  The  arrant  enemies  of  universal  democracy  have 
ever  been  the  crown,  the  tiara,  and  the  torch.  Thus  CHiram  symbolizes  that  ideal  state  of  spiritual, 
intellectual,  and  physical  emancipation  which  has  ever  been  sacrificed  upon  the  altar  of  human 
selfishness.  CHiram  is  the  Beautifier  of  the  Eternal  House.  Modern  utilitarianism,  however,  sacrifices 
the  beautiful  for  the  practical,  in  the  same  breath  declaring  the  obvious  lie  that  selfishness,  hatred, 
and  discord  are  practical. 

Dr.  Orville  Ward  Owen  found  a  considerable  part  of  the  first 


From  Montfaucon's  Antiquities. 

A  hand  covered  with  numerous  symbols  was  extended  to  the  neophj^es  when  they  entered  into  the  Temple  of  Wisdom.  An 
understanding  of  the  embossed  upon  the  surface  of  the  hand  brought  with  it  Divine  power  and  regeneration  Therefore,  by 
means  of  these  symbolic  hands  the  candidate  was  said  to  be  raised  from  the  dead. 


thirty-two  degrees  of  Freemasonic  ritualism  hidden  in  the  text  of  the  First  Shakespeare  Foho. 
Masonic  emblems  are  to  be  observed  also  upon  the  title  pages  of  nearly  every  book  published  by 
Bacon.  Sir  Francis  Bacon  considered  himself  as  a  living  sacrifice  upon  the  altar  of  human  need;  he 
was  obviously  cut  down  in  the  midst  of  his  labors,  and  no  student  of  his  New  Atlantis  can  fail  to 
recognize  the  Masonic  symbolism  contained  therein.  According  to  the  observations  of  Joseph  Fort 
Newton,  the  Temple  of  Solomon  described  by  Bacon  in  that  Utopian  romance  was  not  a  house  at  all 
but  the  name  of  an  ideal  state.  Is  it  not  true  that  the  Temple  of  Freemasonry  is  also  emblematic  of  a 
condition  of  society?  While,  as  before  stated,  the  principles  of  the  Hiramic  legend  are  of  the  greatest 
antiquity,  it  is  not  impossible  that  its  present  form  may  be  based  upon  incidents  in  the  life  of  Lord 
Bacon,  who  passed  through  the  philosophic  death  and  was  raised  in  Germany. 

In  an  old  manuscript  appears  the  statement  that  the  Freemasonic  Order  was  formed  by  alchemists 
and  Hermetic  philosophers  who  had  banded  themselves  together  to  protect  their  secrets  against  the 
infamous  methods  used  by  avaricious  persons  to  wring  from  them  the  secret  of  gold-making.  The  fact 
that  the  Hiramic  legend  contains  an  alchemical  formula  gives  credence  to  this  story.  Thus  the 
building  of  Solomon's  Temple  represents  the  consummation  of  the  magnum  opus,  which  cannot  be 
realized  without  the  assistance  of  CHiram,  the  Universal  Agent.  The  Masonic  Mysteries  teach  the 
initiate  how  to  prepare  within  his  own  soul  a  miraculous  powder  of  projection  by  which  it  is  possible 
for  him  to  transmute  the  base  lump  of  human  ignorance,  perversion,  and  discord  into  an  ingot  of 
spiritual  and  philosophic  gold. 

Sufficient  similarity  exists  between  the  Masonic  CHiram  and  the  Kundalini  of  Hindu  mysticism  to 
warrant  the  assumption  that  CHiram  may  be  considered  a  symbol  also  of  the  Spirit  Fire  moving 
through  the  sixth  ventricle  of  the  spinal  column.  The  exact  science  of  human  regeneration  is  the  Lost 
Key  of  Masonry,  for  when  the  Spirit  Fire  is  lifted  up  through  the  thirty-three  degrees,  or  segments  of 
the  spinal  column,  and  enters  into  the  domed  chamber  of  the  human  skull,  it  finally  passes  into  the 
pituitary  body  (Isis),  where  it  invokes  Ra  (the  pineal  gland)  and  demands  the  Sacred  Name.  Operative 
Masonry,  in  the  fullest  meaning  of  that  term,  signifies  the  process  by  which  the  Eye  of  Horus  is 
opened.  E.  A.  Wallis  Budge  has  noted  that  in  some  of  the  papyri  illustrating  the  entrance  of  the  souls 
of  the  dead  into  the  judgment  hall  of  Osiris  the  deceased  person  has  a  pine  cone  attached  to  the  crown 
of  his  head.  The  Greek  mystics  also  carried  a  symbolic  staff,  the  upper  end  being  in  the  form  of  a  pine 
cone,  which  was  called  the  thyrsus  of  Bacchus.  In  the  human  brain  there  is  a  tiny  gland  called  the 
pineal  body,  which  is  the  sacred  eye  of  the  ancients,  and  corresponds  to  the  third  eye  of  the  Cyclops. 
Little  is  known  concerning  the  function  of  the  pineal  body,  which  Descartes  suggested  (more  wisely 
than  he  knew)  might  be  the  abode  of  the  spirit  of  man.  As  its  name  signifies,  the  pineal  gland  is  the 
sacred  pine  cone  in  man—the  eye  single,  which  cannot  be  opened  until  CHiram  (the  Spirit  Fire)  is 
raised  through  the  sacred  seals  which  are  called  the  Seven  Churches  in  Asia. 

There  is  an  Oriental  painting  which  shows  three  sun  bursts.  One  sunburst  covers  the  head,  in  the 
midst  of  which  sits  Brahma  with  four  heads,  his  body  a  mysterious  dark  color.  The  second  sunburst— 
which  covers  the  heart,  solar  plexus,  and  upper  abdominal  region—shows  Vishnu  sitting  in  the 
blossom  of  the  lotus  on  a  couch  formed  of  the  coils  of  the  serpent  of  cosmic  motion,  its  seven-hooded 
head  forming  a  canopy  over  the  god.  The  third  sunburst  is  over  the  generative  system,  in  the  midst  of 
which  sits  Shiva,  his  body  a  grayish  white  and  the  Ganges  River  flowing  out  of  the  crown  of  his  head. 
This  painting  was  the  work  of  a  Hindu  mystic  who  spent  many  years  subtly  concealing  great 
philosophical  principles  within  these  figures.  The  Christian  legends  could  be  related  also  to  the 
human  body  by  the  same  method  as  the  Oriental,  for  the  arcane  meanings  hidden  in  the  teachings  of 
both  schools  are  identical. 

As  applied  to  Masonry,  the  three  sunbursts  represent  the  gates  of  the  temple  at  which  CHiram  was 

struck,  there  being  no  gate  in  the  north  because  the  sun  never  shines  from  the  northern  angle  of  the 
heavens.  The  north  is  the  symbol  of  the  physical  because  of  its  relation  to  ice  (crystallized  water)  and 
to  the  body  (crystallized  spirit).  In  man  the  light  shines  toward  the  north  but  never  from  it,  because 
the  body  has  no  light  of  its  own  but  shines  with  the  reflected  glory  of  the  divine  life-particles 
concealed  within  physical  substance.  For  this  reason  the  moon  is  accepted  as  the  symbol  of  man's 
physical  nature.  CHiram  is  the  mysterious  fiery,  airy  water  which  must  be  raised  through  the  three 
grand  centers  symbolized  by  the  ladder  with  three  rungs  and  the  sunburst  flowers  mentioned  in  the 
description  of  the  Hindu  painting.  It  must  also  pass  upward  by  means  of  the  ladder  of  seven  rungs- 
the  seven  plexuses  proximate  to  the  spine.  The  nine  segments  of  the  sacrum  and  coccyx  are  pierced  by 
ten  foramina,  through  which  pass  the  roots  of  the  Tree  of  Life.  Nine  is  the  sacred  number  of  man,  and 
in  the  symbolism  of  the  sacrum  and  coccyx  a  great  mystery  is  concealed.  That  part  of  the  body  from 
the  kidneys  downward  was  termed  by  the  early  Qabbalists  the  Land  of  Egypt  into  which  the  children 
of  Israel  were  taken  during  the  captivity.  Out  of  Egypt,  Moses  (the  illuminated  mind,  as  his  name 
implies)  led  the  tribes  of  Israel  (the  twelve  faculties)  by  raising  the  brazen  serpent  in  the  wilderness 
upon  the  symbol  of  the  Tau  cross.  Not  only  CHiram  but  the  god-men  of  nearly  every  pagan  Mystery 
ritual  are  personifications  of  the  Spirit  Fire  in  the  human  spinal  cord. 

The  astronomical  aspect  of  the  Hiramic  legend  must  not  be  overlooked.  The  tragedy  of  CHiram  is 
enacted  annually  by  the  sun  during  its  passage  through  the  signs  of  the  zodiac. 

"From  the  journey  of  the  Sun  through  the  twelve  signs,"  writes  Albert  Pike,  "come  the  legend  of  the 
twelve  labors  of  Hercules,  and  the  incarnations  of  Vishnu  and  Buddha.  Hence  came  the  legend  of  the 
murder  of  Khurum,  representative  of  the  Sun,  by  the  three  Fellow-Crafts,  symbols  of  the  Winter  signs, 
Capricornus,  Aquarius,  and  Pisces,  who  assailed  him  at  the  three  gates  of  Heaven  and  slew  him  at  the 
Winter  Solstice.  Hence  the  search  for  him  by  the  nine  Fellow-Crafts,  the  other  nine  signs,  his  finding, 
burial,  and  resurrection."  (See  Morals  and  Dogma.) 

Other  authors  consider  Libra,  Scorpio,  and  Sagittarius  as  the  three  murderers  of  the  sun,  inasmuch  as 
Osiris  was  murdered  by  Typhon,  to  whom  were  assigned  the  thirty  degrees  of  the  constellation  of 
Scorpio.  In  the  Christian  Mysteries  also  Judas  signifies  the  Scorpion,  and  the  thirty  pieces  of  silver  for 
which  he  betrayed  His  Lord  represent  the  number  of  degrees  in  that  sign.  Having  been  struck  by 
Libra  (the  state),  Scorpio  (the  church),  and  Sagittarius  (the  mob),  the  sun  (CHiram)  is  secretly  home 
through  the  darkness  by  the  signs  of  Capricorn,  Aquarius,  and  Pisces  and  buried  over  the  brow  of  a 
hill  (the  vernal  equinox).  Capricorn  has  for  its  symbol  an  old  man  with  a  scythe  in  his  hand.  This  is 
Father  Time—a  wayfarer —who  is  symbolized  in  Masonry  as  straightening  out  the  ringlets  of  a  young 
girl's  hair.  If  the  Weeping  Virgin  be  considered  a  symbol  of  Virgo,  and  Father  Time  with  his  scythe  a 
symbol  of  Capricorn,  then  the  interval  of  ninety  degrees  between  these  two  signs  will  be  found  to 
correspond  to  that  occupied  by  the  three  murderers.  Esoterically,  the  urn  containing  the  ashes  of 
CHiram  represents  the  human  heart.  Saturn,  the  old  man  who  lives  at  the  north  pole,  and  brings  with 
him  to  the  children  of  men  a  sprig  of  evergreen  (the  Christmas  tree),  is  familiar  to  the  little  folks 
under  the  name  of  Santa  Clous,  for  he  brings  each  winter  the  gift  of  a  new  year. 

The  martyred  sun  is  discovered  by  Aries,  a  Fellow-Craftsman,  and  at  the  vernal  equinox  the  process  of 
raising  him  begins.  This  is  finally  accomplished  by  the  Lion  of  Judah,  who  in  ancient  times  occupied 
the  position  of  the  keystone  of  the  Royal  Arch  of  Heaven.  The  precession  of  the  equinoxes  causes 
various  signs  to  play  the  role  of  the  murderers  of  the  sun  during  the  different  ages  of  the  world,  but 
the  principle  involved  remains  unchanged.  Such  is  the  cosmic  story  of  CHiram,  the  Universal 
Benefactor,  the  Fiery  Architect:  of  the  Divine  House,  who  carries  with  him  to  the  grave  that  Lost 
Word  which,  when  spoken,  raises  all  life  to  power  and  glory.  According  to  Christian  mysticism,  when 
the  Lost  Word  is  found  it  is  discovered  in  a  stable,  surrounded  by  beasts  and  marked  by  a  star.  "After 
the  sun  leaves  Leo,"  writes  Robert  Hewitt  Brown,  "the  days  begin  to  grow  unequivocally  shorter  as  the 
sun  declines  toward  the  autumnal  equinox,  to  be  again  slain  by  the  three  autumnal  months,  lie  dead 

through  the  three  winter  ones,  and  be  raised  again  by  the  three  vernal  ones.  Each  year  the  great 
tragedy  is  repeated,  and  the  glorious  resurrection  takes  place."  (See  Stellar  Theology  and  Masonic 

CHiram  is  termed  dead  because  in  the  average  individual  the  cosmic  creative  forces  are  limited  in 
their  manifestation  to  purely  physical—and  correspondingly  materialistic—expression.  Obsessed  by 
his  belief  in  the  reality  and  permanence  of  physical  existence,  man  does  not  correlate  the  material 
universe  with  the  blank  north  wall  of  the  temple.  As  the  solar  light  symbolically  is  said  to  die  as  it 
approaches  the  winter  solstice,  so  the  physical  world  maybe  termed 

Crowned  with  a  triple  tower-like  tiara  and  her  form  adorned  with  symbolic  creatures  representative  of  her  spiritual 
powers,  Diana  stood  for  the  source  of  that  imperishable  doctrine  which,  flowing  from  the  bosom  of  the  Great 
Multimammia,  is  the  spiritual  food  of  those  aspiring  men  and  women  who  have  consecrated  their  lives  to  the 
contemplation  of  reality.  As  the  physical  body  of  man  receives  its  nutriment  from  the  Great  Earth  Mother,  so  the  spiritual 
nature  of  man  is  fed  from  the  never  failing  fountains  of  Truth  pouring  outward  from  the  invisible  worlds. 

the  winter  solstice  of  the  spirit.  Reaching  the  winter  solstice,  the  sun  apparently  stands  still  for  three 
days  and  then,  rolling  away  the  stone  of  winter,  begins  its  triumphal  march  north  towards  the 
summer  solstice.  The  condition  of  ignorance  may  be  likened  to  the  winter  solstice  of  philosophy; 
spiritual  understanding  to  the  summer  solstice.  From  this  point  of  view,  initiation  into  the  Mysteries 
becomes  the  vernal  equinox  of  the  spirit,  at  which  time  the  CHiram  in  man  crosses  from  the  realm  of 


From  Montfaucon's  Antiquities. 

p.  80 

mortality  into  that  of  eternal  life.  The  autumnal  equinox  is  analogous  to  the  mythological /a//  of  man, 
at  which  time  the  human  spirit  descended  into  the  realms  of  Hades  by  being  immersed  in  the  illusion 
of  terrestrial  existence. 

In  An  Essay  on  the  Beautiful,  Plotinus  describes  the  refining  effect  of  beauty  upon  the  unfolding 
consciousness  of  man.  Commissioned  to  decorate  the  Everlasting  House,  CHiram  Abiff  is  the 
embodiment  of  the  beautifying  principle.  Beauty  is  essential  to  the  natural  unfoldment  of  the  human 
soul.  The  Mysteries  held  that  man,  in  part  at  least,  was  the  product  of  his  environment.  Therefore 
they  considered  it  imperative  that  every  person  be  surrounded  by  objects  which  would  evoke  the 
highest  and  noblest  sentiments.  They  proved  that  it  was  possible  to  produce  beauty  in  life  by 
surrounding  life  with  beauty.  They  discovered  that  symmetrical  bodies  were  built  by  souls 
continuously  in  the  presence  of  symmetrical  bodies;  that  noble  thoughts  were  produced  by  minds 
surrounded  by  examples  of  mental  nobility.  Conversely,  if  a  man  were  forced  to  look  upon  an  ignoble 
or  asymmetrical  structure  it  would  arouse  within  him  a  sense  of  ignobility  which  would  provoke  him 
to  commit  ignoble  deeds.  If  an  ill-proportioned  building  were  erected  in  the  midst  of  a  city  there 
would  be  ill-proportioned  children  born  in  that  community;  and  men  and  women,  gazing  upon  the 
asymmetrical  structure,  would  live  inharmonious  lives.  Thoughtful  men  of  antiquity  realized  that 
their  great  philosophers  were  the  natural  products  of  the  aesthetic  ideals  of  architecture,  music,  and 
art  established  as  the  standards  of  the  cultural  systems  of  the  time. 

The  substitution  of  the  discord  of  the  fantastic  for  the  harmony  of  the  beautiful  constitutes  one  of  the 
great  tragedies  of  every  civilization.  Not  only  were  the  Savior-Gods  of  the  ancient  world  beautiful,  but 
each  performed  a  ministry  of  beauty,  seeking  to  effect  man's  regeneration  by  arousing  within  him  the 
love  of  the  beautiful.  A  renaissance  of  the  golden  age  of  fable  can  be  made  possible  only  by  the 
elevation  of  beauty  to  its  rightful  dignity  as  the  all-pervading,  idealizing  quality  in  the  religious, 
ethical,  sociological,  scientific,  and  political  departments  of  life.  The  Dionysiac  Architects  were 
consecrated  to  the  raising  of  their  Master  Spirit—Cosmic  Beauty—from  the  sepulcher  of  material 
ignorance  and  selfishness  by  erecting  buildings  which  were  such  perfect  exemplars  of  symmetry  and 
majesty  that  they  were  actually  magical  formulee  by  which  was  evoked  the  spirit  of  the  martyred 
Beautifier  entombed  within  a  materialistic  world. 

In  the  Masonic  Mysteries  the  triune  spirit  of  man  (the  light  Delta)  is  symbolized  by  the  three  Grand 
Masters  of  the  Lodge  of  Jerusalem.  As  God  is  the  pervading  principle  of  three  worlds,  in  each  of  which 
He  manifests  as  an  active  principle,  so  the  spirit  of  man,  partaking  of  the  nature  of  Divinity,  dwells 
upon  three  planes  of  being:  the  Supreme,  the  Superior,  and  the  Inferior  spheres  of  the  Pythagoreans. 
At  the  gate  of  the  Inferior  sphere  (the  underworld,  or  dwelling  place  of  mortal  creatures)  stands  the 
guardian  of  Hades— the  three— headed  dog  Cerberus,  who  is  analogous  to  the  three  murderers  of  the 
Hiramic  legend.  According  to  this  symbolic  interpretation  of  the  triune  spirit,  CHiram  is  the  third,  or 
incarnating,  part— the  Master  Builder  who  through  all  ages  erects  living  temples  of  flesh  and  blood  as 
shrines  of  the  Most  High.  CHiram  comes  forth  as  a  flower  and  is  cut  down;  he  dies  at  the  gates  of 
matter;  he  is  buried  in  the  elements  of  creation,  but— like  Thor— he  swings  his  mighty  hammer  in  the 
fields  of  space,  sets  the  primordial  atoms  in  motion,  and  establishes  order  out  of  Chaos.  As  the 
potentiality  of  cosmic  power  within  each  human  soul,  CHiram  lies  waiting  for  man  by  the  elaborate 
ritualism  of  life  to  transmute  potentiality  into  divine  potency.  As  the  sense  perceptions  of  the 
individual  increase,  however,  man  gains  ever  greater  control  over  his  various  parts,  and  the  spirit  of 
life  within  gradually  attains  freedom.  The  three  murderers  represent  the  laws  of  the  Inferior  world- 
birth,  growth,  and  decay— which  ever  frustrate  the  plan  of  the  Builder.  To  the  average  individual, 
physical  birch  actually  signifies  the  death  of  CHiram,  and  physical  death  the  resurrection  of  CHiram. 
To  the  initiate,  however,  the  resurrection  of  the  spiritual  nature  is  accomplished  without  the 
intervention  of  physical  death. 

The  curious  symbols  found  in  the  base  of  Cleopatra's  Needle  now  standing  in  Central  Park,  New  York, 
were  interpreted  as  being  of  first  Masonic  significance  by  S.  A.  Zola,  33°  Past  Grand  Master  of  the 

Grand  Lodge  of  Egypt.  Masons'  marks  and  symbols  are  to  be  found  on  the  stones  of  numerous  public 
buildings  not  only  in  England  and  on  the  Continent  but  also  in  Asia.  In  his  Indian  Masons'  Marks  of 
the  Moghul  Dynasty,  A.  Gorham  describes  scores  of  markings  appearing  on  the  walls  of  buildings 
such  as  the  Taj  Mahal,  the  Jama  Masjid,  and  that:  famous  Masonic  structure,  the  Kutab  Minar. 
According  to  those  who  regard  Masonry  as  an  outgrowth  of  the  secret  society  of  architects  and 
builders  which  for  thousands  of  years  formed  a  caste  of  master  craftsmen,  CHiram  Abiff  was  the 
Tyrian  Grand  Master  of  a  world-wide  organization  of  artisans,  with  headquarters  in  Tyre.  Their 
philosophy  consisted  of  incorporating  into  the  measurements  and  ornamentation  of  temples,  palaces, 
mausoleums,  fortresses,  and  other  public  buildings  their  knowledge  of  the  laws  controlling  the 
universe.  Every  initiated  workman  was  given  a  hieroglyphic  with  which  he  marked  the  stones  he 
trued  to  show  to  all  posterity  that  he  thus  dedicated  to  the  Supreme  Architect  of  the  Universe  each 
perfected  product  of  his  labor.  Concerning  Masons'  marks,  Robert  Freke  Gould  writes: 

"It  is  very  remarkable  that  these  marks  are  to  be  found  in  all  countries—in  the  chambers  of  the  Great 
Pyramid  at  Gizeh,  on  the  underground  walls  of  Jerusalem,  in  Herculaneum  and  Pompeii,  on  Roman 
walls  and  Grecian  temples,  in  Hindustan,  Mexico,  Peru,  Asia  Minor—as  well  as  on  the  great  ruins  of 
England,  France,  Germany,  Scotland,  Italy,  Portugal  and  Spain."  (See  A  Concise  History  of 

From  this  viewpoint  the  story  of  CHiram  may  well  represent  the  incorporation  of  the  divine  secrets  of 
architecture  into  the  actual  parts  and  dimensions  of  earthly  buildings.  The  three  degrees  of  the  Craft 
bury  the  Grand  Master  (the  Great  Arcanum)  in  the  actual  structure  they  erect,  after  first  having  killed 
him  with  the  builders'  tools,  by  reducing  the  dimensionless  Spirit  of  Cosmic  Beauty  to  the  limitations 
of  concrete  form.  These  abstract  ideals  of  architecture  can  be  resurrected,  however,  by  the  Master 
Mason  who,  by  meditating  upon  the  structure,  releases  therefrom  the  divine  principles  of 
architectonic  philosophy  incorporated  or  buried  within  it.  Thus  the  physical  building  is  actually  the 
tomb  or  embodiment  of  the  Creative  Ideal  of  which  its  material  dimensions  are  but  the  shadow. 

Moreover,  the  Hiramic  legend  may  be  considered  to  embody  the  vicissitudes  of  philosophy  itself.  As 
institutions  for  the  dissemination  of  ethical  culture,  the  pagan  Mysteries  were  the  architects  of 
civilization.  Their  power  and  dignity  were  personified  in  CHiram  Abiff— the  Master  Builder— but  they 
eventually  fell  a  victim  to  the  onslaughts  of  that  recurrent  trio  of  state,  church,  and  mob.  They  were 
desecrated  by  the  state,  jealous  of  their  wealth  and  power;  by  the  early  church,  fearful  of  their  wisdom; 
and  by  the  rabble  or  soldiery  incited  by  both  state  and  church.  As  CHiram  when  raised  from  his  grave 
whispers  the  Master  Mason's  Word  which  was  lost  through  his  untimely  death,  so  according  to  the 
tenets  of  philosophy  the  reestablishment  or  resurrection  of  the  ancient  Mysteries  will  result  in  the 
rediscovery  of  that  secret  teaching  without  which  civilization  must  continue  in  a  state  of  spiritual 
confusion  and  uncertainty. 

When  the  mob  governs,  man  is  ruled  by  ignorance;  when  the  church  governs,  he  is  ruled  by 
superstition;  and  when  the  state  governs,  he  is  ruled  by  fear.  Before  men  can  live  together  in  harmony 
and  understanding,  ignorance  must  be  transmuted  into  wisdom,  superstition  into  an  illumined  faith, 
and  fear  into  love.  Despite  statements  to  the  contrary.  Masonry  is  a  religion  seeking  to  unite  God  and 
man  by  elevating  its  initiates  to  that  level  of  consciousness  whereon  they  can  behold  with  clarified 
vision  the  workings  of  the  Great  Architect  of  the  Universe.  From  age  to  age  the  vision  of  a  perfect 
civilization  is  preserved  as  the  ideal  for  mankind.  In  the  midst  of  that  civilization  shall  stand  a  mighty 
university  wherein  both  the  sacred  and  secular  sciences  concerning  the  mysteries  of  life  will  be  freely 
taught  to  all  who  will  assume  the  philosophic  life.  Here  creed  and  dogma  will  have  no  place;  the 
superficial  will  be  removed  and  only  the  essential  be  preserved.  The  world  will  be  ruled  by  its  most 
illumined  minds,  and  each  will  occupy  the  position  for  which  he  is  most  admirably  fitted. 

The  great  university  will  be  divided  into  grades,  admission  to  which  will  be  through  preliminary  tests 
or  initiations.  Here  mankind  will  be  instructed  in  the  most  sacred,  the  most  secret,  and  the  most 

enduring  of  all  Mysteries— Symbolism.  Here  the  initiate  will  be  taught  that  every  visible  object,  every 
abstract  thought,  every  emotional  reaction  is  but  the  symbol  of  an  eternal  principle.  Here  mankind 
will  learn  that  CHiram  (Truth)  lies  buried  in  every  atom  of  Kosmos;  that  every  form  is  a  symbol  and 
every  symbol  the  tomb  of  an  eternal  verity.  Through  education—spiritual,  mental,  moral,  and 
physical—man  will  learn  to  release  living  truths  from  their  lifeless  coverings.  The  perfect  government 
of  the  earth  must  be  patterned  eventually  after  that  divine  government  by  which  the  universe  is 
ordered.  In  that  day  when  perfect  order  is  reestablished,  with  peace  universal  and  good  triumphant, 
men  will  no  longer  seek  for  happiness,  for  they  shall  find  it  welling  up  within  themselves.  Dead  hopes, 
dead  aspirations,  dead  virtues  shall  rise  from  their  graves,  and  the  Spirit  of  Beauty  and  Goodness 
repeatedly  slain  by  ignorant  men  shall  again  be  the  Master  of  Work.  Then  shall  sages  sit  upon  the 
seats  of  the  mighty  and  the  gods  walk  with  men. 

p.  81 

The  Pythagorean  Theory  of  Music  and 


HARMONY  is  a  state  recognized  by  great  philosophers  as  the  immediate  prerequisite  of  beauty.  A 
compound  is  termed  beautiful  only  when  its  parts  are  in  harmonious  combination.  The  world  is 
called  beautiful  and  its  Creator  is  designated  the  Good  because  good  perforce  must  act  in  conformity 
with  its  own  nature;  and  good  acting  according  to  its  own  nature  is  harmony,  because  the  good  which 
it  accomplishes  is  harmonious  with  the  good  which  it  is.  Beauty,  therefore,  is  harmony  manifesting  its 
own  intrinsic  nature  in  the  world  of  form. 

The  universe  is  made  up  of  successive  gradations  of  good,  these  gradations  ascending  from  matter 
(which  is  the  least  degree  of  good)  to  spirit  (which  is  the  greatest  degree  of  good).  In  man,  his 
superior  nature  is  the  summum  bonum.  It  therefore  follows  that  his  highest  nature  most  readily 
cognizes  good  because  the  good  external  to  him  in  the  world  is  in  harmonic  ratio  with  the  good 
present  in  his  soul.  What  man  terms  evil  is  therefore,  in  common  with  matter,  merely  the  least  degree 
of  its  own  opposite.  The  least  degree  of  good  presupposes  likewise  the  least  degree  of  harmony  and 
beauty.  Thus  deformity  (evil)  is  really  the  least  harmonious  combination  of  elements  naturally 
harmonic  as  individual  units.  Deformity  is  unnatural,  for,  the  sum  of  all  things  being  the  Good,  it  is 
natural  that  all  things  should  partake  of  the  Good  and  be  arranged  in  combinations  that  are 
harmonious.  Harmony  is  the  manifesting  expression  of  the  Will  of  the  eternal  Good. 


It  is  highly  probable  that  the  Greek  initiates  gained  their  knowledge  of  the  philosophic  and 
therapeutic  aspects  of  music  from  the  Egyptians,  who,  in  turn,  considered  Hermes  the  founder  of  the 
art.  According  to  one  legend,  this  god  constructed  the  first  lyre  by  stretching  strings  across  the 
concavity  of  a  turtle  shell.  Both  Isis  and  Osiris  were  patrons  of  music  and  poetry.  Plato,  in  describing 
the  antiquity  of  these  arts  among  the  Egyptians,  declared  that  songs  and  poetry  had  existed  in  Egypt 
for  at  least  ten  thousand  years,  and  that  these  were  of  such  an  exalted  and  inspiring  nature  that  only 
gods  or  godlike  men  could  have  composed  them.  In  the  Mysteries  the  lyre  was  regarded  as  the  secret 
symbol  of  the  human  constitution,  the  body  of  the  instrument  representing  the  physical  form,  the 
strings  the  nerves,  and  the  musician  the  spirit.  Playing  upon  the  nerves,  the  spirit  thus  created  the 
harmonies  of  normal  functioning,  which,  however,  became  discords  if  the  nature  of  man  were  defiled. 

While  the  early  Chinese,  Hindus,  Persians,  Egyptians,  Israelites,  and  Greeks  employed  both  vocal  and 
instrumental  music  in  their  religious  ceremonials,  also  to  complement  their  poetry  and  drama,  it 
remained  for  Pythagoras  to  raise  the  art  to  its  true  dignity  by  demonstrating  its  mathematical 
foundation.  Although  it  is  said  that  he  himself  was  not  a  musician,  Pythagoras  is  now  generally 
credited  with  the  discovery  of  the  diatonic  scale.  Having  first  learned  the  divine  theory  of  music  from 
the  priests  of  the  various  Mysteries  into  which  he  had  been  accepted,  Pythagoras  pondered  for  several 
years  upon  the  laws  governing  consonance  and  dissonance.  How  he  actually  solved  the  problem  is 
unknown,  but  the  following  explanation  has  been  invented. 

One  day  while  meditating  upon  the  problem  of  harmony,  Pythagoras  chanced  to  pass  a  brazier's  shop 
where  workmen  were  pounding  out  a  piece  of  metal  upon  an  anvil.  By  noting  the  variances  in  pitch 
between  the  sounds  made  by  large  hammers  and  those  made  by  smaller  implements,  and  carefully 
estimating  the  harmonies  and  discords  resulting  from  combinations  of  these  sounds,  he  gained  his 
first  clue  to  the  musical  intervals  of  the  diatonic  scale.  He  entered  the  shop,  and  after  carefully 
examining  the  tools  and  making  mental  note  of  their  weights,  returned  to  his  own  house  and 

constructed  an  arm  of  wood  so  that  it:  extended  out  from  the  wall  of  his  room.  At  regular  intervals 

along  this  arm  he  attached  four  cords,  all  of  like  composition,  size,  and  weight.  To  the  first  of  these  he 
attached  a  twelve-pound  weight,  to  the  second  a  nine-pound  weight,  to  the  third  an  eight-pound 
weight,  and  to  the  fourth  a  six-pound  weight.  These  different  weights  corresponded  to  the  sizes  of  the 
braziers'  hammers. 

Pythagoras  thereupon  discovered  that  the  first  and  fourth  strings  when  sounded  together  produced 
the  harmonic  interval  of  the  octave,  for  doubling  the  weight  had  the  same  effect  as  halving  the  string. 
The  tension  of  the  first  string  being  twice  that  of  the  fourth  string,  their  ratio  was  said  to  be  2:1,  or 
duple.  By  similar  experimentation  he  ascertained  that  the  first  and  third  string  produced  the  harmony 
of  the  diapente,  or  the  interval  of  the  fifth.  The  tension  of  the  first  string  being  half  again  as  much  as 
that  of  the  third  string,  their  ratio  was  said  to  be  3:2,  or  sesquialter.  Likewise  the  second  and  fourth 
strings,  having  the  same  ratio  as  the  first  and  third  strings,  yielded  a  diapente  harmony.  Continuing 
his  investigation,  Pythagoras  discovered  that  the  first  and  second  strings  produced  the  harmony  of 
the  diatessaron,  or  the  interval  of  the  third;  and  the  tension  of  the  first  string  being  a  third  greater 
than  that  of  the  second  string,  their  ratio  was  said  to  be  4:3,  or  sesquitercian.  The  third  and  fourth 
strings,  having  the  same  ratio  as  the  first  and  second  strings,  produced  another  harmony  of  the 
diatessaron.  According  to  lamblichus,  the  second  and  third  strings  had  the  ratio  of  8:9,  or  epogdoan. 

The  key  to  harmonic  ratios  is  hidden  in  the  famous  Pythagorean  tetractys,  or  pyramid  of  dots.  The 
tetractys  is  made  up  of  the  first  four  numbers~i,  2,  3,  and  4~which  in  their  proportions  reveal  the 
intervals  of  the  octave,  the  diapente,  and  the  diatessaron.  While  the  law  of  harmonic  intervals  as  set 
forth  above  is  true,  it  has  been  subsequently  proved  that  hammers  striking  metal  in  the  manner 


From  Stanley's  The  History  of  Philosophy. 

In  the  Pythagorean  concept  of  the  music  of  the  spheres,  the  interval  between  the  earth  and  the  sphere  of  the  fixed  stars 
was  considered  to  be  a  diapason—the  most  perfect  harmonic  interval.  The  allowing  arrangement  is  most  generally 
accepted  for  the  musical  intervals  of  the  planets  between  the  earth  and  the  sphere  of  the  fixed  stars:  From  the  sphere  of 
the  earth  to  the  sphere  of  the  moon;  one  tone;  from  the  sphere  of  the  moon  to  that  of  Mercury,  one  half-tone;  from 
Mercury  to  Venus,  one-half;  from  Venus  to  the  sun,  one  and  one-half  tones;  from  the  sun  to  Mars,  one  tone;  from  Mars  to 
Jupiter,  one-half  tone;  from  Jupiter  to  Saturn,  one-half  tone;  from  Saturn  to  the  fixed  stars,  one-half  tone.  The  sum  of 
these  intervals  equals  the  six  whole  tones  of  the  octave. 


From  Fludd's  De  Musica  Mundana. 

This  diagrammatic  sector  represents  the  major  gradations  of  energy  and  substance  between  elemental  earth  and  absolute 
unconditioned  force.  Beginning  with  the  superior,  the  fifteen  graduated  spheres  descend  in  the  following  order:  Limitless 
and  Eternal  Life;  the  superior,  the  middle,  and  the  inferior  Empyrean;  the  seven  planets;  and  the  four  elements.  Energy  is 
symbolized  by  Fludd  as  a  pyramid  with  its  base  upon  the  concave  surface  of  the  superior  Empyrean,  and  substance  as 
another  Pyramid  with  its  base  upon  the  convex  surface  of  the  sphere  (not  planet)  of  earth.  These  pyramids  demonstrate 
the  relative  proportions  of  energy  and  substance  entering  into  the  composition  of  the  fifteen  planes  of  being.  It  will  be 
noted  that  the  ascending  pyramid  of  substance  touches  but  does  not  pierce  the  fifteenth  sphere—that  of  Limitless  and 
Eternal  Life.  Likewise,  the  descending  pyramid  of  energy  touches  but  does  not  pierce  the  first  sphere—the  grossest 
condition  of  substance.  The  plane  of  the  sun  is  denominated  the  sphere  of  equality,  for  here  neither  energy  nor  substance 
predominate.  The  mundane  monochord  consists  of  a  hypothetical  string  stretched  from  the  base  of  the  pyramid  of  energy 
to  the  base  of  the  pyramid  of  substance. 

p.  82 

described  will  not  produce  the  various  tones  ascribed  to  them.  In  all  probability,  therefore, 
Pythagoras  actually  worked  out  his  theory  of  harmony  from  the  monochord~a  contrivance  consisting 
of  a  single  string  stretched  between  two  pegs  and  supplied  with  movable  frets. 

To  Pythagoras  music  was  one  of  the  dependencies  of  the  divine  science  of  mathematics,  and  its 
harmonies  were  inflexibly  controlled  by  mathematical  proportions.  The  Pythagoreans  averred  that 
mathematics  demonstrated  the  exact  method  by  which  the  good  established  and  maintained  its 
universe.  Number  therefore  preceded  harmony,  since  it  was  the  immutable  law  that  governs  all 
harmonic  proportions.  After  discovering  these  harmonic  ratios,  Pythagoras  gradually  initiated  his 
disciples  into  this,  the  supreme  arcanum  of  his  Mysteries.  He  divided  the  multitudinous  parts  of 
creation  into  a  vast  number  of  planes  or  spheres,  to  each  of  which  he  assigned  a  tone,  a  harmonic 
interval,  a  number,  a  name,  a  color,  and  a  form.  He  then  proceeded  to  prove  the  accuracy  of  his 
deductions  by  demonstrating  them  upon  the  different  planes  of  intelligence  and  substance  ranging 
from  the  most  abstract  logical  premise  to  the  most  concrete  geometrical  solid.  From  the  common 
agreement  of  these  diversified  methods  of  proof  he  established  the  indisputable  existence  of  certain 
natural  laws. 

Having  once  established  music  as  an  exact  science,  Pythagoras  applied  his  newly  found  law  of 
harmonic  intervals  to  all  the  phenomena  of  Nature,  even  going  so  far  as  to  demonstrate  the  harmonic 
relationship  of  the  planets,  constellations,  and  elements  to  each  other.  A  notable  example  of  modern 
corroboration  of  ancient  philosophical  reaching  is  that  of  the  progression  of  the  elements  according  to 
harmonic  ratios.  While  making  a  list  of  the  elements  in  the  ascending  order  of  their  atomic  weights, 
John  A.  Newlands  discovered  at  every  eighth  element  a  distinct  repetition  of  properties.  This 
discovery  is  known  as  the  law  of  octaves  in  modern  chemistry. 

Since  they  held  that  harmony  must  be  determined  not  by  the  sense  perceptions  but  by  reason  and 
mathematics,  the  Pythagoreans  called  themselves  Canonics,  as  distinguished  from  musicians  of  the 
Harmonic  School,  who  asserted  taste  and  instinct  to  be  the  true  normative  principles  of  harmony. 
Recognizing,  however,  the  profound  effect:  of  music  upon  the  senses  and  emotions,  Pythagoras  did 
not  hesitate  to  influence  the  mind  and  body  with  what  he  termed  "musical  medicine." 

Pythagoras  evinced  such  a  marked  preference  for  stringed  instruments  that  he  even  went  so  far  as  to 
warn  his  disciples  against  allowing  their  ears  to  be  defiled  by  the  sounds  of  flutes  or  cymbals.  He 
further  declared  that  the  soul  could  be  purified  from  its  irrational  influences  by  solemn  songs  sung  to 
the  accompaniment  of  the  lyre.  In  his  investigation  of  the  therapeutic  value  of  harmonics,  Pythagoras 
discovered  that  the  seven  modes—or  keys—of  the  Greek  system  of  music  had  the  power  to  incite  or 
allay  the  various  emotions.  It  is  related  that  while  observing  the  stars  one  night  he  encountered  a 
young  man  befuddled  with  strong  drink  and  mad  with  jealousy  who  was  piling  faggots  about  his 
mistress'  door  with  the  intention  of  burning  the  house.  The  frenzy  of  the  youth  was  accentuated  by  a 
flutist  a  short  distance  away  who  was  playing  a  tune  in  the  stirring  Phrygian  mode.  Pythagoras 
induced  the  musician  to  change  his  air  to  the  slow,  and  rhythmic  Spondaic  mode,  whereupon  the 
intoxicated  youth  immediately  became  composed  and,  gathering  up  his  bundles  of  wood,  returned 
quietly  to  his  own  home. 

There  is  also  an  account  of  how  Empedocles,  a  disciple  of  Pythagoras,  by  quickly  changing  the  mode 
of  a  musical  composition  he  was  playing,  saved  the  life  of  his  host,  Anchitus,  when  the  latter  was 
threatened  with  death  by  the  sword  of  one  whose  father  he  had  condemned  to  public  execution.  It  is 
also  known  that  Esculapius,  the  Greek  physician,  cured  sciatica  and  other  diseases  of  the  nerves  by 
blowing  a  loud  trumpet  in  the  presence  of  the  patient. 

Pythagoras  cured  many  ailments  of  the  spirit,  soul,  and  body  by  having  certain  specially  prepared 
musical  compositions  played  in  the  presence  of  the  sufferer  or  by  personally  reciting  short  selections 
from  such  early  poets  as  Hesiod  and  Homer.  In  his  university  at  Crotona  it  was  customary  for  the 
Pythagoreans  to  open  and  to  close  each  day  with  songs— those  in  the  morning  calculated  to  clear  the 
mind  from  sleep  and  inspire  it  to  the  activities  of  the  coming  day;  those  in  the  evening  of  a  mode 
soothing,  relaxing,  and  conducive  to  rest.  At  the  vernal  equinox,  Pjithagoras  caused  his  disciples  to 

gather  in  a  circle  around  one  of  their  number  who  led  them  in  song  and  played  their  accompaniment 
upon  a  lyre. 

The  therapeutic  music  of  Pythagoras  is  described  by  lamblichus  thus:  "And  there  are  certain  melodies 
devised  as  remedies  against  the  passions  of  the  soul,  and  also  against  despondency  and  lamentation, 
which  Pythagoras  invented  as  things  that  afford  the  greatest  assistance  in  these  maladies.  And  again, 
he  employed  other  melodies  against  rage  and  anger,  and  against  every  aberration  of  the  soul.  There  is 
also  another  kind  of  modulation  invented  as  a  remedy  against  desires."  (See  The  Life  of  Pythagoras.) 

It  is  probable  that  the  Pythagoreans  recognized  a  connection  between  the  seven  Greek  modes  and  the 
planets.  As  an  example,  Pliny  declares  that  Saturn  moves  in  the  Dorian  mode  and  Jupiter  in  the 
Phrygian  mode.  It  is  also  apparent  that  the  temperaments  are  keyed  to  the  various  modes,  and  the 
passions  likewise.  Thus,  anger—which  is  a  fiery  passion— may  be  accentuated  by  a  fiery  mode  or  its 
power  neutralized  by  a  watery  mode. 

The  far-reaching  effect  exercised  by  music  upon  the  culture  of  the  Greeks  is  thus  summed  up  by  Emil 
Nauman:  "Plato  depreciated  the  notion  that  music  was  intended  solely  to  create  cheerful  and 
agreeable  emotions,  maintaining  rather  that  it  should  inculcate  a  love  of  all  that  is  noble,  and  hatred 
of  all  that  is  mean,  and  that  nothing  could  more  strongly  influence  man's  innermost  feelings  than 
melody  and  rhythm.  Firmly  convinced  of  this,  he  agreed  with  Damon  of  Athens,  the  musical 
instructor  of  Socrates,  that  the  introduction  of  a  new  and  presumably  enervating  scale  would 
endanger  the  future  of  a  whole  nation,  and  that  it  was  not  possible  to  alter  a  key  without  shaking  the 
very  foundations  of  the  State.  Plato  affirmed  that  music  which  ennobled  the  mind  was  of  a  far  higher 
kind  than  that  which  merely  appealed  to  the  senses,  and  he  strongly  insisted  that  it  was  the 
paramount  duty  of  the  Legislature  to  suppress  all  music  of  an  effeminate  and  lascivious  character, 
and  to  encourage  only  s  that  which  was  pure  and  dignified;  that  bold  and  stirring  melodies  were  for 
men,  gentle  and  soothing  ones  for  women.  From  this  it  is  evident  that  music  played  a  considerable 
part  in  the  education  of  the  Greek  youth.  The  greatest  care  was  also  to  be  taken  in  the  selection  of 
instrumental  music,  because  the  absence  of  words  rendered  its  signification  doubtful,  and  it  was 
difficult  to  foresee  whether  it  would  exercise  upon  the  people  a  benign  or  baneful  influence.  Popular 
taste,  being  always  tickled  by  sensuous  and  meretricious  effects,  was  to  be  treated  with  deserved 
contempt.  (See  The  History  of  Music.) 

Even  today  martial  music  is  used  with  telling  effect  in  times  of  war,  and  religious  music,  while  no 
longer  developed  in  accordance  with  the  ancient  theory,  still  profoundly  influences  the  emotions  of 
the  laity. 


The  most  sublime  but  least  known  of  all  the  Pythagorean  speculations  was  that  of  sidereal  harmonics. 
It  was  said  that  of  all  men  only  Pythagoras  heard  the  music  of  the  spheres.  Apparently  the  Chaldeans 
were  the  first  people  to  conceive  of  the  heavenly  bodies  joining  in  a  cosmic  chant  as  they  moved  in 
stately  manner  across  the  sky.  Job  describes  a  time  "when  the  stars  of  the  morning  sang  together," 
and  in  The  Merchant  of  Venice  the  author  of  the  Shakesperian  plays 


From  Fludd's  De  Musica  Mundana. 

In  this  chart  is  set  forth  a  summary  of  Fludd's  theory  of  universal  music.  The  interval  between  the  element  of  earth  and 
the  highest  heaven  is  considered  as  a  double  octave,  thus  showing  the  two  extremes  of  existence  to  be  in  disdiapason 
harmony.  It  is  signifies  that  the  highest  heaven,  the  sun,  and  the  earth  have  the  same  time,  the  difference  being  in  pitch. 
The  sun  is  the  lower  octave  of  the  highest  heaven  and  the  earth  the  lower  octave  of  the  sun.  The  lower  octave  (T  to  G) 
comprises  that  part  of  the  universe  in  which  substance  predominate  over  energy.  Its  harmonies,  therefore,  are  more  gross 
than  those  of  the  higher  octave  (G  to  g)  wherein  energy  predominates  over  substance.  "If  struck  in  the  more  spiritual 
part,"  writes  Fludd,  "the  monochord  will  give  eternal  life;  if  in  the  more  material  part,  transitory  life."  It  will  be  noted  that 
certain  elements,  planets,  and  celestial  spheres  sustain  a  harmonic  ratio  to  each  other,  Fludd  advanced  this  as  a  key  to  the 
sympathies  and  antipathies  existing  between  the  various  departments  of  Nature. 

p.  83 

writes:  "There's  not  the  smallest  orb  which  thou  behold'st  but  in  his  motion  like  an  angel  sings."  So 
little  remains,  however,  of  the  Pythagorean  system  of  celestial  music  that  it  is  only  possible  to 
approximate  his  actual  theory. 

Pythagoras  conceived  the  universe  to  be  an  immense  monochord,  with  its  single  string  connected  at 
its  upper  end  to  absolute  spirit  and  at  its  lower  end  to  absolute  matter—in  other  words,  a  cord 

stretched  between  heaven  and  earth.  Counting  inward  from  the  circumference  of  the  heavens, 
Pythagoras,  according  to  some  authorities,  divided  the  universe  into  nine  parts;  according  to  others, 
into  twelve  parts.  The  twelvefold  system  was  as  follows:  The  first  division  was  called  the  empyrean,  or 
the  sphere  of  the  fixed  stars,  and  was  the  dwelling  place  of  the  immortals.  The  second  to  twelfth 
divisions  were  (in  order)  the  spheres  of  Saturn,  Jupiter,  Mars,  the  sun,  Venus,  Mercury,  and  the  moon, 
and  fire,  air,  water,  and  earth.  This  arrangement  of  the  seven  planets  (the  sun  and  moon  being 
regarded  as  planets  in  the  old  astronomy)  is  identical  with  the  candlestick  symbolism  of  the  Jews—the 
sun  in  the  center  as  the  main  stem  with  three  planets  on  either  side  of  it. 

The  names  given  by  the  Pythagoreans  to  the  various  notes  of  the  diatonic  scale  were,  according  to 
Macrobius,  derived  from  an  estimation  of  the  velocity  and  magnitude  of  the  planetary  bodies.  Each  of 
these  gigantic  spheres  as  it  rushed  endlessly  through  space  was  believed  to  sound  a  certain  tone 
caused  by  its  continuous  displacement  of  the  sethereal  diffusion.  As  these  tones  were  a  manifestation 
of  divine  order  and  motion,  it  must  necessarily  follow  that  they  partook  of  the  harmony  of  their  own 
source.  "The  assertion  that  the  planets  in  their  revolutions  round  the  earth  uttered  certain  sounds 
differing  according  to  their  respective  'magnitude,  celerity  and  local  distance,'  was  commonly  made 
by  the  Greeks.  Thus  Saturn,  the  farthest  planet,  was  said  to  give  the  gravest  note,  while  the  Moon, 
which  is  the  nearest,  gave  the  sharpest.  'These  sounds  of  the  seven  planets,  and  the  sphere  of  the  fixed 
stars,  together  with  that  above  us  [Antichthon],  are  the  nine  Muses,  and  their  joint  symphony  is 
called  Mnemosyne.'"  (See  The  Canon.)This  quotation  contains  an  obscure  reference  to  the  ninefold 
division  of  the  universe  previously  mentioned. 

The  Greek  initiates  also  recognized  a  fundamental  relationship  between  the  individual  heavens  or 
spheres  of  the  seven  planets,  and  the  seven  sacred  vowels.  The  first  heaven  uttered  the  sound  of  the 
sacred  vowel  A  (Alpha);  the  second  heaven,  the  sacred  vowel  E  (Epsilon);  the  third,  H  (Eta);  the 
fourth,  I  (Iota);  the  fifth,  O  (Omicron);  the  sixth,  Y  (Upsilon);  and  the  seventh  heaven,  the  sacred 
vowel  n  (Omega).  When  these  seven  heavens  sing  together  they  produce  a  perfect  harmony  which 
ascends  as  an  everlasting  praise  to  the  throne  of  the  Creator.  (See  Irenseus'  Against  Heresies.) 
Although  not  so  stated,  it  is  probable  that  the  planetary  heavens  are  to  be  considered  as  ascending  in 
the  Pythagorean  order,  beginning  with  the  sphere  of  the  moon,  which  would  be  the  first  heaven. 

Many  early  instruments  had  seven  Strings,  and  it  is  generally  conceded  that  Pythagoras  was  the  one 
who  added  the  eighth  string  to  the  lyre  of  Terpander.  The  seven  strings  were  always  related  both  to 
their  correspondences  in  the  human  body  and  to  the  planets.  The  names  of  God  were  also  conceived 
to  be  formed  from  combinations  of  the  seven  planetary  harmonies.  The  Egyptians  confined  their 
sacred  songs  to  the  seven  primary  sounds,  forbidding  any  others  to  be  uttered  in  their  temples.  One  of 
their  hymns  contained  the  following  invocation:  "The  seven  sounding  tones  praise  Thee,  the  Great 
God,  the  ceaseless  working  Father  of  the  whole  universe."  In  another  the  Deity  describes  Himself  thus: 
"I  am  the  great  indestructible  lyre  of  the  whole  world,  attuning  the  songs  of  the  heavens.  (See 
Nauman's  History  of  Music.) 

The  Pythagoreans  believed  that  everything  which  existed  had  a  voice  and  that  all  creatures  were 
eternally  singing  the  praise  of  the  Creator.  Man  fails  to  hear  these  divine  melodies  because  his  soul  is 
enmeshed  in  the  illusion  of  material  existence.  When  he  liberates  himself  from  the  bondage  of  the 
lower  world  with  its  sense  limitations,  the  music  of  the  spheres  will  again  be  audible  as  it  was  in  the 
Golden  Age.  Harmony  recognizes  harmony,  and  when  the  human  soul  regains  its  true  estate  it  will 
not  only  hear  the  celestial  choir  but  also  join  with  it  in  an  everlasting  anthem  of  praise  to  that  Eternal 
Good  controlling  the  infinite  number  of  parts  and  conditions  of  Being. 

The  Greek  Mysteries  included  in  their  doctrines  a  magnificent  concept  of  the  relationship  existing 
between  music  and  form.  The  elements  of  architecture,  for  example,  were  considered  as  comparable 
to  musical  modes  and  notes,  or  as  having  a  musical  counterpart.  Consequently  when  a  building  was 
erected  in  which  a  number  of  these  elements  were  combined,  the  structure  was  then  likened  to  a 

musical  chord,  which  was  harmonic  only  when  it  fully  satisfied  the  mathematical  requirements  of 
harmonic  intervals.  The  realization  of  this  analogy  between  sound  and  form  led  Goethe  to  declare  that 
"architecture  is  crystallized  music." 

In  constructing  their  temples  of  initiation,  the  early  priests  frequently  demonstrated  their  superior 
knowledge  of  the  principles  underlying  the  phenomena  known  as  vibration.  A  considerable  part  of  the 
Mystery  rituals  consisted  of  invocations  and  intonements,  for  which  purpose  special  sound  chambers 
were  constructed.  A  word  whispered  in  one  of  these  apartments  was  so  intensified  that  the 
reverberations  made  the  entire  building  sway  and  be  filled  with  a  deafening  roar.  The  very  wood  and 
stone  used  in  the  erection  of  these  sacred  buildings  eventually  became  so  thoroughly  permeated  with 
the  sound  vibrations  of  the  religious  ceremonies  that  when  struck  they  would  reproduce  the  same 
tones  thus  repeatedly  impressed  into  their  substances  by  the  rituals. 

Every  element  in  Nature  has  its  individual  keynote.  If  these  elements  are  combined  in  a  composite 
structure  the  result  is  a  chord  that,  if  sounded,  will  disintegrate  the  compound  into  its  integral  parts. 
Likewise  each  individual  has  a  keynote  that,  if  sounded,  will  destroy  him.  The  allegory  of  the  walls  of 
Jericho  falling  when  the  trumpets  of  Israel  were  sounded  is  undoubtedly  intended  to  set  forth  the 
arcane  significance  of  individual  keynote  or  vibration. 


"Light,"  writes  Edwin  D.  Babbitt,  "reveals  the  glories  of  the  external  world  and  yet  is  the  most  glorious 
of  them  all.  It  gives  beauty,  reveals  beauty  and  is  itself  most  beautiful.  It  is  the  analyzer,  the  truth- 
teller  and  the  exposer  of  shams,  for  it  shows  things  as  they  are.  Its  infinite  streams  measure  off  the 
universe  and  flow  into  our  telescopes  from  stars  which  are  quintillions  of  miles  distant.  On  the  other 
hand  it  descends  to  objects  inconceivably  small,  and  reveals  through  the  microscope  objects  fifty 
millions  of  times  less  than  can  be  seen  by  the  naked  eye.  Like  all  other  fine  forces,  its  movement  is 
wonderfully  soft,  yet  penetrating  and  powerful.  Without  its  vivifying  influence,  vegetable,  animal,  and 
human  life  must  immediately  perish  from  the  earth,  and  general  ruin  take  place.  We  shall  do  well, 
then,  to  consider  this  potential  and  beautiful  principle  of  light  and  its  component  colors,  for  the  more 
deeply  we  penetrate  into  its  inner  laws,  the  more  will  it  present  itself  as  a  marvelous  storehouse  of 
power  to  vitalize,  heal,  refine,  and  delight  mankind."  (See  The  Principles  of  Light  and  Color.) 

Since  light  is  the  basic  physical  manifestation  of  life,  bathing  all  creation  in  its  radiance,  it  is  highly 
important  to  realize,  in  part  at  least,  the  subtle  nature  of  this  divine  substance.  That  which  is  called 
light  is  actually  a  rate  of  vibration  causing  certain  reactions  upon  the  optic  nerve.  Few  realize  how 
they  are  walled  in  by  the  limitations 


From  Fludd's  De  Musica  Mundana. 

In  this  diagram  two  interpenetrating  pyramids  are  again  employed,  one  of  which  represents  fire  and  the  other  earth.  It  is 
demonstrated  according  to  the  law  of  elemental  harmony  that  fire  does  not  enter  into  the  composition  of  earth  nor  earth 
into  the  composition  of  fire.  The  figures  on  the  chart  disclose  the  harmonic  relationships  existing  between  the  four 
primary  elements  according  to  both  Fludd  and  the  Pythagoreans.  Earth  consists  of  four  parts  of  its  own  nature;  water  of 
three  parts  of  earth  and  one  part  of  fire.  The  sphere  of  equality  is  a  hypothetical  point  where  there  is  an  equilibrium  of  two 
parts  of  earth  and  two  parts  of  fire.  Air  is  composed  of  three  parts  of  fire  and  one  part  of  earth;  fire,  of  four  parts  of  its  own 
nature.  Thus  earth  and  water  bear  to  each  other  the  ratio  of  4  to  3,  or  the  diatessaron  harmony,  and  water  and  the  sphere 
of  equality  the  ratio  of  3  to  2,  or  the  diapente  harmony.  Fire  and  air  also  bear  to  each  other  the  ratio  of  4  to  3,  or  the 
diatessaron  harmony,  and  air  and  the  sphere  of  equality  the  ratio  of  3  to  2,  or  the  diapente  harmony.  As  the  sum  of  a 
diatessaron  and  a  diapente  equals  a  diapason,  or  octave,  it  is  evident  that  both  the  sphere  of  fire  and  the  sphere  of  earth 
are  in  diapason  harmony  with  the  sphere  of  equality,  and  also  that  fire  and  earth  are  in  disdiapason  harmony  with  each 

p.  84 

of  the  sense  perceptions.  Not  only  is  there  a  great  deal  more  to  light  than  anyone  has  ever  seen  but 
there  are  also  unknown  forms  of  light  which  no  optical  equipment  will  ever  register.  There  are 
unnumbered  colors  which  cannot  be  seen,  as  well  as  sounds  which  cannot  be  heard,  odors  which 
cannot  be  smelt,  flavors  which  cannot  be  tasted,  and  substances  which  cannot  be  felt.  Man  is  thus 

surrounded  by  a  supersensible  universe  of  which  he  knows  nothing  because  the  centers  of  sense 
perception  within  himself  have  not  been  developed  sufficiently  to  respond  to  the  subtler  rates  of 
vibration  of  which  that  universe  is  composed. 

Among  both  civilized  and  savage  peoples  color  has  been  accepted  as  a  natural  language  in  which  to 
couch  their  religious  and  philosophical  doctrines.  The  ancient  city  of  Ecbatana  as  described  by 
Herodotus,  its  seven  walls  colored  according  to  the  seven  planets,  revealed  the  knowledge  of  this 
subject  possessed  by  the  Persian  Magi.  The  famous  zikkurat  or  astronomical  tower  of  the  god  Nebo  at 
Borsippa  ascended  in  seven  great  steps  or  stages,  each  step  being  painted  in  the  key  color  of  one  of 
the  planetary  bodies.  (See  Lenormant's  Chaldean  Magic.)  It  is  thus  evident  that  the  Babylonians  were 
familiar  with  the  concept  of  the  spectrum  in  its  relation  to  the  seven  Creative  Gods  or  Powers.  In 
India,  one  of  the  Mogul  emperors  caused  a  fountain  to  be  made  with  seven  levels.  The  water  pouring 
down  the  sides  through  specially  arranged  channels  changed  color  as  it  descended,  passing 
sequentially  through  all  shades  of  the  spectrum.  In  Tibet,  color  is  employed  by  the  native  artists  to 
express  various  moods.  L.  Austine  Waddell,  writing  of  Northern  Buddhist  art,  notes  that  in  Tibetan 
mythology  "White  and  yellow  complexions  usually  typify  mild  moods,  while  the  red,  blue,  and  black 
belong  to  fierce  forms,  though  sometimes  light  blue,  as  indicating  the  sky,  means  merely  celestial. 
Generally  the  gods  are  pictured  white,  goblins  red,  and  devils  black,  like  their  European  relative."  (See 
The  Buddhism  of  Tibet) 

In  Meno,  Plato,  speaking  through  Socrates,  describes  color  as  "an  effluence  of  form,  commensurate 
with  sight,  and  sensible."  In  Thesetetus  he  discourses  more  at  length  on  the  subject  thus:  "Let  us  carry 
out  the  principle  which  has  just  been  affirmed,  that  nothing  is  self-existent,  and  then  we  shall  see  that 
every  color,  white,  black,  and  every  other  color,  arises  out  of  the  eye  meeting  the  appropriate  motion, 
and  that  what  we  term  the  substance  of  each  color  is  neither  the  active  nor  the  passive  element,  but 
something  which  passes  between  them,  and  is  peculiar  to  each  percipient;  are  you  certain  that  the 
several  colors  appear  to  every  animal—say  a  dog~as  they  appear  to  you?" 

In  the  Pythagorean  fefracfys—the  supreme  symbol  of  universal  forces  and  processes—are  set  forth  the 
theories  of  the  Greeks  concerning  color  and  music.  The  first  three  dots  represent  the  threefold  White 
Light,  which  is  the  Godhead  containing  potentially  all  sound  and  color.  The  remaining  seven  dots  are 
the  colors  of  the  spectrum  and  the  notes  of  the  musical  scale.  The  colors  and  tones  are  the  active 
creative  powers  which,  emanating  from  the  First  Cause,  establish  the  universe.  The  seven  are  divided 
into  two  groups,  one  containing  three  powers  and  the  other  four  a  relationship  also  shown  in  the 
tetractys.  The  higher  group— that  of  three— becomes  the  spiritual  nature  of  the  created  universe;  the 
lower  group— that  of  four— manifests  as  the  irrational  sphere,  or  inferior  world. 

In  the  Mysteries  the  seven  Logi,  or  Creative  Lords,  are  shown  as  streams  of  force  issuing  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Eternal  One.  This  signifies  the  spectrum  being  extracted  from  the  white  light  of  the 
Supreme  Deity.  The  seven  Creators,  or  Fabricators,  of  the  inferior  spheres  were  called  by  the  Jews  the 
Elohim.  By  the  Egyptians  they  were  referred  to  as  the  Builders  (sometimes  as  the  Governors)  and  are 
depicted  with  great  knives  in  their  hands  with  which  they  carved  the  universe  from  its  primordial 
substance.  Worship  of  the  planets  is  based  upon  their  acceptation  as  the  cosmic  embodiments  of  the 
seven  creative  attributes  of  God.  The  Lords  of  the  planets  were  described  as  dwelling  within  the  body 
of  the  sun,  for  the  true  nature  of  the  sun,  being  analogous  to  the  white  light,  contains  the  seeds  of  all 
the  tone  and  color  potencies  which  it  manifests. 

There  are  numerous  arbitrary  arrangements  setting  forth  the  mutual  relationships  of  the  planets,  the 
colors,  and  the  musical  notes.  The  most  satisfactory  system  is  that  based  upon  the  law  of  the  octave. 
The  sense  of  hearing  has  a  much  wider  scope  than  that  of  sight,  for  whereas  the  ear  can  register  from 
nine  to  eleven  octaves  of  sound  the  eye  is  restricted  to  the  cognition  of  but  seven  fundamental  color 
tones,  or  one  tone  short  of  the  octave.  Red,  when  posited  as  the  lowest  color  tone  in  the  scale  of 
chromatics,  thus  corresponds  to  do,  the  first  note  of  the  musical  scale.  Continuing  the  analogy,  orange 

corresponds  to  re,  yellow  to  mi,  green  to  fa,  blue  to  sol,  indigo  to  la,  and  violet  to  si  {ti).  The  eighth 
color  tone  necessary  to  complete  the  scale  should  be  the  higher  octave  of  red,  the  first  color  tone.  The 
accuracy  of  the  above  arrangement  is  attested  by  two  striking  facts:  (i)  the  three  fundamental  notes  of 
the  musical  scale—the  first,  the  third,  and  the  fifth—correspond  with  the  three  primary  colors— red, 
yellow,  and  blue;  (2)  the  seventh,  and  least  perfect,  note  of  the  musical  scale  corresponds  with  purple, 
the  least  perfect  tone  of  the  color  scale. 

In  The  Principles  of  Light  and  Color,  Edwin  D.  Babbitt  confirms  the  correspondence  of  the  color  and 
musical  scales:  "As  C  is  at  the  bottom  of  the  musical  scale  and  made  with  the  coarsest  waves  of  air,  so 
is  red  at  the  bottom  of  the  chromatic  scale  and  made  with  the  coarsest  waves  of  luminous  ether.  As 
the  musical  note  B  [the  seventh  note  of  the  scale]  requires  45  vibrations  of  air  every  time  the  note  C  at 
the  lower  end  of  the  scale  requires  24,  or  but  little  over  half  as  many,  so  does  extreme  violet  require 
about  300  trillions  of  vibrations  of  ether  in  a  second,  while  extreme  red  requires  only  about  450 
trillions,  which  also  are  but  little  more  than  half  as  many.  When  one  musical  octave  is  finished 
another  one  commences  and  progresses  with  just  twice  as  many  vibrations  as  were  used  in  the  first 
octave,  and  so  the  same  notes  are  repeated  on  a  finer  scale.  In  the  same  way  when  the  scale  of  colors 
visible  to  the  ordinary  eye  is  completed  in  the  violet,  another  octave  of  finer  invisible  colors,  with  just 
twice  as  many  vibrations,  will  commence  and  progress  on  precisely  the  same  law." 

When  the  colors  are  related  to  the  twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac,  they  are  arranged  as  the  spokes  of  a 
wheel.  To  Aries  is  assigned  pure  red;  to  Taurus,  red-orange;  to  Gemini,  pure  orange;  to  Cancer, 
orange-yellow;  to  Leo,  pure  yellow;  to  Virgo,  yellow-green;  to  Libra,  pure  green;  to  Scorpio,  green- 
blue;  to  Sagittarius,  pure  blue;  to  Capricorn,  blue-violet;  to  Aquarius,  pure  violet;  and  to  Pisces, 

In  expounding  the  Eastern  system  of  esoteric  philosophy,  H.  P,  Blavatsky  relates  the  colors  to  the 
septenary  constitution  of  man  and  the  seven  states  of  matter  as  follows: 

This  arrangement  of  the  colors  of  the  spectrum  and  the  musical  notes  of  the  octave  necessitates  a 
different  grouping  of  the  planets  in  order  to  preserve  their  proper  tone  and  color  analogies.  Thus  do 
becomes  Mars;  re,  the  sun;  mi.  Mercury; /a,  Saturn;  sol,  Jupiter;  la,  Venus;  si  (ti)  the  moon.  (See  The 
E.  S.  Instructions.) 





Chaya,  or  Etheric  Double  Ether 
Higher  Manas,  or  Spiritual  Intelligence    Critical  State  called  Air 

Auric  Envelope  Steam  or  Vapor 

Lower  Manas,  or  Animal  Soul  Critical  State 

Buddhi,  or  Spiritual  Soul  Water 

Prana,  or  Life  Principle  Critical  State 

Kama  Rupa,  or  Seat  of  Animal  Life  Ice 






From  Fludd's  De  Musica  Mundana. 

In  this  diagram  Fludd  has  divided  each  of  the  four  Primary  elements  into  three  subdivisions.  The  first  division  of  each 
element  is  the  grossest,  partaking  somewhat  of  the  substance  directly  inferior  to  itself  (except  in  the  case  of  the  earth, 
which  has  no  state  inferior  to  itself).  The  second  division  consists  of  the  element  in  its  relatively  pure  state,  while  the  third 
division  is  that  condition  wherein  the  element  partakes  somewhat  of  the  substance  immediately  superior  to  itself.  For 
example  the  lowest  division  of  the  element  of  water  is  sedimentary,  as  it  contains  earth  substance  in  solution;  the  second 
division  represents  water  in  its  most  common  state~salty~as  in  the  case  of  the  ocean;  and  the  third  division  is  water  in  its 
purest  state—free  from  salt.  The  harmonic  interval  assigned  to  the  lowest  division  of  each  element  is  one  tone,  to  the 
central  division  also  a  tone,  but  to  the  higher  division  a  half-tone  because  it  partakes  of  the  division  immediately  above  it. 
Fludd  emphasizes  the  fact  that  as  the  elements  ascend  in  series  of  two  and  a  half  tones,  the  diatessaron  is  the  dominating 
harmonic  interval  of  the  elements. 

p.  85 

Fishes,  Insects,  Animals,  Reptiles  and 


Part  One 

THE  creatures  inhabiting  the  water,  air,  and  earth  were  held  in  veneration  by  all  races  of  antiquity. 
Realizing  that  visible  bodies  are  only  symbols  of  invisible  forces,  the  ancients  worshiped  the  Divine 
Power  through  the  lower  kingdoms  of  Nature,  because  those  less  evolved  and  more  simply 
constituted  creatures  responded  most  readily  to  the  creative  impulses  of  the  gods.  The  sages  of  old 
studied  living  things  to  a  point  of  realization  that  God  is  most  perfectly  understood  through  a 
knowledge  of  His  supreme  handiwork—animate  and  inanimate  Nature. 

Every  existing  creature  manifests  some  aspect  of  the  intelligence  or  power  of  the  Eternal  One,  who 
can  never  be  known  save  through  a  study  and  appreciation  of  His  numbered  but  inconceivable  parts. 
When  a  creature  is  chosen,  therefore,  to  symbolize  to  the  concrete  human  mind  some  concealed 
abstract  principle  it  is  because  its  characteristics  demonstrate  this  invisible  principle  in  visible  action. 
Fishes,  insects,  animals,  reptiles,  and  birds  appear  in  the  religious  symbolism  of  nearly  all  nations, 
because  the  forms  and  habits  of  these  creatures  and  the  media  in  which  they  exist  closely  relate  them 
to  the  various  generative  and  germinative  powers  of  Nature,  which  were  considered  as  prima-facie 
evidence  of  divine  omnipresence. 

The  early  philosophers  and  scientists,  realizing  that  all  life  has  its  origin  in  water,  chose  the  fish  as  the 
symbol  of  the  life  germ.  The  fact  that  fishes  are  most  prolific  makes  the  simile  still  more  apt.  While 
the  early  priests  may  not  have  possessed  the  instruments  necessary  to  analyze  the  spermatozoon,  they 
concluded  by  deduction  that  it  resembled  a  fish. 

Fishes  were  sacred  to  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  being  connected  with  the  worship  of  Aphrodite 
(Venus).  An  interesting  survival  of  pagan  ritualism  is  found  in  the  custom  of  eating  fish  on  Friday. 
Freya,  in  whose  honor  the  day  was  named,  was  the  Scandinavian  Venus,  and  this  day  was  sacred 
among  many  nations  to  the  goddess  of  beauty  and  fecundity.  This  analogy  further  links  the  fish  with 
the  procreative  mystery.  Friday  is  also  sacred  to  the  followers  of  the  Prophet  Mohammed. 

The  word  nun  means  both  fish  and  growth,  and  as  Inman  says:  "The  Jews  were  led  to  victory  by  the 
Son  of  the  Fish  whose  other  names  were  Joshua  and  Jesus  (the  Savior).  Nun  is  still  the  name  of  a 
female  devotee"  of  the  Christian  faith.  Among  early  Christians  three  fishes  were  used  to  symbolize  the 
Trinity,  and  the  fish  is  also  one  of  the  eight  sacred  symbols  of  the  great  Buddha.  It  is  also  significant 
that  the  dolphin  should  be  sacred  to  both  Apollo  (the  Solar  Savior)  and  Neptune.  It  was  believed  that 
this  fish  carried  shipwrecked  sailors  to  heaven  on  its  back.  The  dolphin  was  accepted  by  the  early 
Christians  as  an  emblem  of  Christ,  because  the  pagans  had  viewed  this  beautiful  creature  as  a  friend 
and  benefactor  of  man.  The  heir  to  the  throne  of  France,  the  Dauphin,  may  have  secured  his  title  from 
this  ancient  pagan  symbol  of  the  divine  preservative  power.  The  first  advocates  of  Christianity  likened 
converts  to  fishes,  who  at  the  time  of  baptism  "returned  again  into  the  sea  of  Christ." 

Primitive  peoples  believed  the  sea  and  land  were  inhabited  by  strange  creatures,  and  early  books  on 
zoology  contain  curious  illustrations  of  composite  beasts,  reptiles,  and  fishes,  which  did  not  exist  at 
the  time  the  mediaeval  authors  compiled  these  voluminous  books.  In  the  ancient  initiatory  rituals  of 
the  Persian,  Greek,  and  Egyptian  Mysteries  the  priests  disguised  themselves  as  composite  creatures, 
thereby  symbolizing  different  aspects  of  human  consciousness.  They  used  birds  and  reptiles  as 
emblems  of  their  various  deities,  often  creating  forms  of  grotesque  appearance  and  assigning  to  them 

imaginary  traits,  habits,  and  places  of  domicile,  all  of  which  were  symbolic  of  certain  spiritual  and 
transcendental  truths  thus  concealed  from  the  profane.  The  phoenix  made  its  nest  of  incense  and 
flames.  The  unicorn  had  the  body  of  a  horse,  the  feet  of  an  elephant,  and  the  tail  of  a  wild  boar.  The 
upper  half  of  the  centaur's  body  was  human  and  the  lower  half  equine.  The  pelican  of  the  Hermetists 
fed  its  young  from  its  own  breast,  and  to  this  bird  were  assigned  other  mysterious  attributes  which 
could  have  been  true  only  allegorically. 

Though  regarded  by  many  writers  of  the  Middle  Ages  as  actual  living  creatures,  none  of  these—the 
pelican  excepted—ever  existed  outside  the  symbolism  of  the  Mysteries.  Possibly  they  originated  in 
rumors  of  animals  then  little  known.  In  the  temple,  however,  they  became  a  reality,  for  there  they 
signified  the  manifold  characteristics  of  man's  nature.  The  mantichora  had  certain  points  in  common 
with  the  hyena;  the  unicorn  may  have  been  the  single-horned  rhinoceros.  To  the  student  of  the  secret 
wisdom  these  composite  animals,  and  birds  simply  represent  various  forces  working  in  the  invisible 
worlds.  This  is  a  point  which  nearly  all  writers  on  the  subject  of  medieval  monsters  seem  to  have 
overlooked.  (See  Vlyssis  Aldrovandi's  Monstrorum  Historia,  1642,  and  Physica  Curiosa,  by  P. 
Gaspare  Schotto,  1697.) 

There  are  also  legends  to  the  effect  that  long  before  the  appearance  of  human  beings  there  existed  a 
race  or  species  of  composite  creatures  which  was  destroyed  by  the  gods.  The  temples  of  antiquity 
preserved  their  own  historical  records  and  possessed  information  concerning  the  prehistoric  world 
that  has  never  been  revealed  to  the  uninitiated.  According  to  these  records,  the  human  race  evolved 
from  a  species  of  creature  that  partook  somewhat  of  the  nature  of  an  amphibian,  for  at  that  time 
primitive  man  had  the  gills  of  a  fish  and  was  partly  covered  with  scales.  To  a  limited  degree,  the 
human  embryo  demonstrates  the  possibility  of  such  a  condition.  As  a  result  of  the  theory  of  man's 
origin  in  water,  the  fish  was  looked  upon  as  the  progenitor  of  the  human  family.  This  gave  rise  to  the 
ichthyolatry  of  the  Chaldeans,  Phoenicians,  and  Brahmins.  The  American  Indians  believe  that  the 
waters  of  lakes,  rivers,  and  oceans  are  inhabited  by  a  mysterious  people,  the  "Water  Indians." 

The  fish  has  been  used  as  an  emblem  of  damnation;  but  among  the  Chinese  it  typified  contentment 
and  good  fortune,  and  fishes  appear  on  many  of  their  coins.  When  Typhon,  or  Set,  the  Egyptian  evil 
genius,  had  divided  the  body  of  the  god  Osiris  into  fourteen  parts,  he  cast  one  part  into  the  river  Nile, 
where,  according  to  Plutarch,  it  was  devoured  by  three  fishes— the  lepidotus  (probably  the 
lepidosiren),  the  phagrus,  and  the  oxyrynchus  (a  form  of  pike).  For  this  reason  the  Egyptians  would 
not  eat  the  flesh  of  these  fishes,  believing  that  to  do  so  would  be  to  devour  the  body  of  their  god. 
When  used  as  a  symbol  of  evil,  the  fish  represented  the  earth  (man's  lower  nature)  and  the  tomb  (the 
sepulcher  of  the  Mysteries).  Thus  was  Jonah  three  days  in  the  belly  of  the  "great  fish,"  as  Christ  was 
three  days  in  the  tomb. 

Several  early  church  fathers  believed  that  the  "whale"  which  swallowed  Jonah  was  the  symbol  of  God 
the  Father,  who,  when  the  hapless  prophet  was  thrown  overboard,  accepted  Jonah  into  His  own 
nature  until  a  place  of  safety  was  reached.  The  story  of  Jonah  is  really  a  legend  of  initiation  into  the 
Mysteries,  and  the  "great  fish"  represents  the  darkness  of  ignorance  which  engulfs  man  when  he  is 
thrown  over  the  side  of  the  ship  (is  born)  into  the  sea  (life).  The  custom  of  building  ships  in  the  form 
of  fishes  or  birds,  common  in  ancient  times,  could  give  rise  to  the  story,  and  mayhap  Jonah  was 
merely  picked  up  by 


From  Picart's  Religious  Ceremonials. 

The  fish  has  often  been  associated  with  the  World  Saviors.  Vishnu,  the  Hindu  Redeemer,  who  takes  upon  himself  ten 
forms  for  the  redemption  of  the  universe,  was  expelled  from  the  mouth  of  a  fish  in  his  first  incarnation.  Isis,  while  nursing 
the  infant  Horus,  is  often  shown  with  a  fish  on  her  headdress.  Oannes,  the  Chaldean  Savior  (borrowed  from  the 
Brahmins),  is  depicted  with  the  head  and  body  of  a  fish,  from  which  his  human  form  protrudes  at  various  points.  Jesus 
was  often  symbolized  by  a  fish.  He  told  His  disciples  that  they  should  became  "fishers  of  men."  The  sign  of  the  fish  was 
also  the  first  monogram  of  the  Christians.  The  mysterious  Greek  name  of  Jesus,  IX0Y2,  means  "a  fish."  The  fish  was 
accepted  as  a  symbol  of  the  Christ  by  a  number  of  early  canonized  church  fathers.  St.  Augustine  likened  the  Christ  to  a  fish 
that  had  been  broiled,  and  it  was  also  pointed  out  that  the  flesh  of  that  Fish  was  the  food  of  righteous  and  holy  men. 

p.  86 

another  vessel  and  carried  into  port,  the  pattern  of  the  ship  causing  it  to  be  called  a  "great  fish." 
CVeritatis  simplex  oratio  est!")  More  probably  the  "whale"  of  Jonah  is  based  upon  the  pagan 
mythological  creature,  hippocampus,  part  horse  and  part  dolphin,  for  the  early  Christian  statues  and 
carvings  show  the  composite  creature  and  not  a  true  whale. 

It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  mysterious  sea  serpents,  which,  according  to  the  Mayan  and 
Toltec  legends,  brought  the  gods  to  Mexico  were  Viking  or  Chaldean  ships,  built  in  the  shape  of 
composite  sea  monsters  or  dragons.  H.  P.  Blavatsky  advances  the  theory  that  the  word  cetus,  the  great 
whale,  is  derived  from  keto,  a  name  for  the  fish  god,  Dagon,  and  that  Jonah  was  actually  confined  in  a 
cell  hollowed  out  in  the  body  of  a  gigantic  statue  of  Dagon  after  he  had  been  captured  by  Phoenician 
sailors  and  carried  to  one  of  their  cities.  There  is  no  doubt  a  great  mystery  in  the  gigantic  form  of 
cetus,  which  is  still  preserved  as  a  constellation. 

According  to  many  scattered  fragments  extant,  man's  lower  nature  was  symbolized  by  a  tremendous, 
awkward  creature  resembling  a  great  sea  serpent,  or  dragon,  called  leviathan.  All  symbols  having 
serpentine  form  or  motion  signify  the  solar  energy  in  one  of  its  many  forms.  This  great  creature  of  the 
sea  therefore  represents  the  solar  life  force  imprisoned  in  water  and  also  the  divine  energy  coursing 
through  the  body  of  man,  where,  until  transmuted,  it  manifests  itself  as  a  writhing,  twisting  monster— 
-man's  greeds,  passions,  and  lusts.  Among  the  symbols  of  Christ  as  the  Savior  of  men  are  a  number 
relating  to  the  mystery  of  His  divine  nature  concealed  within  the  personality  of  the  lowly  Jesus. 

The  Gnostics  divided  the  nature  of  the  Christian  Redeemer  into  two  parts—the  one  Jesus,  a  mortal 
man;  the  other,  Christos,  a  personification  of  Nous,  the  principle  of  Cosmic  Mind.  Nous,  the  greater, 
was  for  the  period  of  three  years  (from  baptism  to  crucifixion)  using  the  fleshly  garment  of  the  mortal 
man  (Jesus).  In  order  to  illustrate  this  point  and  still  conceal  it  from  the  ignorant,  many  strange,  and 
often  repulsive,  creatures  were  used  whose  rough  exteriors  concealed  magnificent  organisms.  Kenealy, 
in  his  notes  on  the  Book  of  Enoch,  observes:  "Why  the  caterpillar  was  a  symbol  of  the  Messiah  is 
evident;  because,  under  a  lowly,  creeping,  and  wholly  terrestrial  aspect,  he  conceals  the  beautiful 
butterfly-form,  with  its  radiant  wings,  emulating  in  its  varied  colors  the  Rainbow,  the  Serpent,  the 
Salmon,  the  Scarab,  the  Peacock,  and  the  dying  Dolphin  *  *  *. 


In  1609  Henry  Khunrath'sAmp/iif/ieaf rum  Sapientise ^ternae  was  published.  Eliphas  Levi  declared 
that  within  its  pages  are  concealed  all  the  great  secrets  of  magical  philosophy.  A  remarkable  plate  in 
this  work  shows  the  Hermetic  sciences  being  attacked  by  the  bigoted  and  ignorant  pedagogues  of  the 
seventeenth  century.  In  order  to  express  his  complete  contempt  for  his  slanderers,  Khunrath  made 
out  of  each  a  composite  beast,  adding  donkey  ears  to  one  and  a  false  tail  to  another.  He  reserved  the 
upper  part  of  the  picture  for  certain  petty  backbiters  whom  he  gave  appropriate  forms.  The  air  was 
filled  with  strange  creatures—great  dragon  flies,  winged  frogs,  birds  with  human  heads,  and  other 
weird  forms  which  defy  description— heaping  venom,  gossip,  spite,  slander,  and  other  forms  of 
persecution  upon  the  secret  arcanum  of  the  wise.  The  drawing  indicated  that  their  attacks  were 
ineffectual.  Poisonous  insects  were  often  used  to  symbolize  the  deadly  power  of  the  human  tongue. 

Insects  of  all  kinds  were  also  considered  emblematic  of  the  Nature  spirits  and  dsemons,  for  both  were 
believed  to  inhabit  the  atmosphere.  Mediaeval  drawings  showing  magicians  in  the  act  of  invoking 
spirits,  often  portray  the  mysterious  powers  of  the  other  world,  which  the  conjurer  has  exorcised,  as 
appearing  to  him  in  composite  part-insect  forms.  The  early  philosophers  apparently  held  the  opinion 
that  the  disease  which  swept  through  communities  in  the  form  of  plagues  were  actually  living 
creatures,  but  instead  of  considering  a  number  of  tiny  germs  they  viewed  the  entire  plague  as  one 
individuality  and  gave  it  a  hideous  shape  to  symbolize  its  destructiveness.  The  fact  that  plagues  came 
in  the  air  caused  an  insect  or  a  bird  to  be  used  as  their  symbol. 

Beautiful  symmetrical  forms  were  assigned  to  all  natural  benevolent  conditions  or  powers,  but  to 
unnatural  or  malevolent  powers  were  assigned  contorted  and  abnormal  figures.  The  Evil  One  was 
either  hideously  deformed  or  else  of  the  nature  of  certain  despised  animals.  A  popular  superstition 
during  the  Middle  Ages  held  that  the  Devil  had  the  feet  of  a  rooster,  while  the  Egyptians  assigned  to 
Typhon  (Devil)  the  body  of  a  hog. 

The  habits  of  the  insects  were  carefully  studied.  Therefore  the  ant  was  looked  upon  as  emblematic  of 
industry  and  foresight,  as  it  stored  up  supplies  for  the  winter  and  also  had  strength  to  move  objects 
many  times  its  own  weight.  The  locusts  which  swept  down  in  clouds,  and  in  some  parts  of  Africa  and 
Asia  obscured  the  sun  and  destroyed  every  green  thing,  were  considered  fit  emblems  of  passion, 
disease,  hate,  and  strife;  for  these  emotions  destroy  all  that  is  good  in  the  soul  of  man  and  leave  a 
barren  desert  behind  them.  In  the  folklore  of  various  nations,  certain  insects  are  given  special 
significance,  but  the  ones  which  have  received  world-wide  veneration  and  consideration  ate  the 

scarab,  the  king  of  the  insect  kingdom;  the  scorpion,  the  great  betrayer;  the  butterfly,  the  emblem  of 
metamorphosis;  and  the  bee,  the  symbol  of  industry. 

The  Egyptian  scarab  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  symbolic  figures  ever  conceived  by  the  mind  of 
man.  It  was  evolved  by  the  erudition  of  the  priestcraft  from  a  simple  insect  which,  because  of  its 
peculiar  habits  and  appearance,  properly  symbolized  the  strength  of  the  body,  the  resurrection  of  the 
soul,  and  the  Eternal  and  Incomprehensible  Creator  in  His  aspect  as  Lord  of  the  Sun.  E.  A.  Wallis 
Budge  says,  in  effect,  of  the  worship  of  the  scarab  by  the  Egyptians: 

"Yet  another  view  held  in  primitive  times  was  that  the  sky  was  a  vast  meadow  over  which  a  huge 
beetle  crawled,  pushing  the  disk  of  the  sun  before  him.  This  beetle  was  the  Sky-god,  and,  arguing 
from  the  example  of  the  beetle  (Scarabaeus  sacer),  which  was  observed  to  roll  along  with  its  hind  legs 
a  ball  that  was  believed  to  contain  its  eggs,  the  early  Egyptians  thought  that  the  ball  of  the  Sky-god 
contained  his  egg  and  that  the  sun  was  his  offspring.  Thanks,  however,  to  the  investigations  of  the 
eminent  entomologist,  Monsieur  J.  H.  Fabre,  we  now  know  that  the  ball  which  the  Scarahseus  sacer 
rolls  along  contains  not  its  eggs,  but  dung  that  is  to  serve  as  food  for  its  egg,  which  it  lays  in  a  carefully 
prepared  place." 

Initiates  of  the  Egyptian  Mysteries  were  sometimes  called  scarabs;  again,  lions  and  panthers.  The 
scarab  was  the  emissary  of  the  sun,  symbolizing  light,  truth,  and  regeneration.  Stone  scarabs,  called 
heart  scarabs,  about  three  inches  long,  were  placed  in  the  heart  cavity  of  the  dead  when  that  organ 
was  removed  to  be  embalmed  separately  as  part  of  the  process  of  mummifying.  Some  maintain  that 
the  stone  beetles  were  merely  wrapped  in  the  winding  cloths  at  the  time  of  preparing  the  body  for 
eternal  preservation.  The  following  passage  concerning  this  appears  in  the  great  Egyptian  book  of 
initiation.  The  Book  of  the  Dead:  "And  behold,  thou  shalt  make  a  scarab  of  green  stone,  which  shalt  be 
placed  in  the  breast  of  a  man,  and  it  shall  perform  for  him,  'the  opening  of  the  mouth.'"  The  funeral 
rites  of  many  nations  bear  a  striking  resemblance  to  the  initiatory  ceremonies  of  their  Mysteries. 

Ra,  the  god  of  the  sun,  had  three  important  aspects.  As  the  Creator  of  the  universe  he  was  symbolized 
by  the  head  of  a  scarab  and  was  called  Khepera,  which  signified  the  resurrection  of  the  soul  and  a  new 
life  at  the  end  of  the  mortal  span.  The  mummy  cases  of  the  Egyptian  dead  were  nearly  always 
ornamented  with  scarabs.  Usually  one  of  these  beetles,  with  outspread  wings,  was  painted  on  the 
mummy  case  directly  over  the  breast  of  the  dead.  The  finding  of  such  great  numbers  of  small  stone 
scarabs  indicates  that  they  were  a  favorite  article  of  adornment  among  the  Egyptians.  Because  of  its 
relationship  to  the  sun,  the  scarab  symbolized  the  divine  part  of  man's  nature.  The  fact  that  its 
beautiful  wings  were  concealed  under  its  glossy  shell  typified  the  winged  soul  of  man  hidden  within 
its  earthly  sheath.  The  Egyptian  soldiers  were  given  the  scarab  as  their  special  symbol  because  the 
ancients  believed  that  these  creatures  were  all  of  the  male  sex  and  consequently  appropriate  emblems 
of  virility,  strength,  and  courage. 

Plutarch  noted  the  fact  that  the  scarab  rolled  its  peculiar  ball  of  dung  backwards,  while  the  insect 
itself  faced  the  opposite  direction.  This  made  it  an  especially  fitting  symbol  for  the  sun,  because  this 
orb  (according  to  Egyptian  astronomy)  was  rolling  from  west  to  east,  although  apparently  moving  in 
the  opposite  direction.  An  Egyptian  allegory  states  that  the  sunrise  is  caused  by  the  scarab  unfolding 


From  Redgrave's  Bygone  Beliefs. 

The  most  remarkable  of  allegorical  creatures  was  the  mantichora,  which  Ctesias  describes  as  having  aflame-colored  body, 
lionlike  in  shape,  three  rows  of  teeth,  a  human  head  and  ears,  blue  eyes,  a  tail  ending  in  a  series  of  spikes  and  stings, 
thorny  and  scorpionlike,  and  a  voice  which  sounded  like  the  blare  of  trumpets.  This  sjmthetic  quadruped  ambled  into 
mediaeval  works  on  natural  history,  but,  though  seriously  considered,  had  never  been  seen,  because  it  inhabited 
inaccessible  regions  and  consequently  was  difficult  to  locate. 

The  flat  under  side  of  a  scarab  usually  bears  an  inscription  relating  to  the  dynasty  during  which  it  was  cut.  These  scarabs 
were  sometimes  used  as  seals.  Some  were  cut  from  ordinary  or  precious  stones;  others  were  made  of  clay,  baked  and 
glazed.  Occasionally  the  stone  scarabs  were  also  glazed.  The  majority  of  the  small  scarabs  are  pierced  as  though  originally 
used  as  beads.  Some  are  so  hard  that  they  will  cut  glass.  In  the  picture  above,  A  shows  top  and  side  views  of  the  scarab, 
and  B  and  B  the  under  surface  with  the  name  of  Men-ka-Ra  within  the  central  cartouche. 

its  wings,  which  stretch  out  as  glorious  colors  on  each  side  of  its  body—the  solar  globe—and  that  when 
it  folds  its  wings  under  its  dark  shell  at  sunset,  night  follows.  Khepera,  the  scarab-headed  aspect  of 
Ra,  is  often  symbolized  riding  through  the  sea  of  the  sky  in  a  wonderful  ship  called  the  Boat  of  the 

The  scorpion  is  the  sjmibol  of  both  wisdom  and  self-destruction.  It  was  called  by  the  Egyptians  the 
creature  accursed;  the  time  of  year  when  the  sun  entered  the  sign  of  Scorpio  marked  the  beginning  of 
the  rulership  of  Typhon.  When  the  twelve  signs  of  the  zodiac  were  used  to  represent  the  twelve 
Apostles  (although  the  reverse  is  true),  the  scorpion  was  assigned  to  Judas  Iscariot— the  betrayer. 

The  scorpion  stings  with  its  tail,  and  for  this  reason  it  has  been  called  a  backbiter,  a  false  and  deceitful 
thing.  Calmet,  in  his  Dictionary  of  the  Bible,  declares  the  scorpion  to  be  a  fit  emblem  of  the  wicked 
and  the  symbol  of  persecution.  The  dry  winds  of  Egypt  are  said  to  be  produced  by  Typhon,  who 
imparts  to  the  sand  the  blistering  heat  of  the  infernal  world  and  the  sting  of  the  scorpion.  This  insect 


From  Hall's  Catalogue  of  Egyptian  Scarabs,  Etc.,  in  the  British  Museum. 

p.  87 

was  also  the  symbol  of  the  spinal  fire  which,  according  to  the  Egyptian  Mysteries,  destroyed  man 
when  it  was  permitted  to  gather  at  the  base  of  his  spine  (the  tail  of  the  scorpion). The  red  star  Antares 
in  the  back  of  the  celestial  scorpion  was  considered  the  worst  light  in  the  heavens.  Kalb  alAkrab,  or 
the  heart  of  the  scorpion,  was  called  by  the  ancients  the  lieutenant  or  deputy  of  Mars.  (See  footnote  to 
Ptolemy's  Tetrabiblos.)  Antares  was  believed  to  impair  the  eyesight,  often  causing  blindness  if  it  rose 
over  the  horizon  when  a  child  was  born.  This  may  refer  again  to  the  sand  storm,  which  was  capable  of 
blinding  unwary  travelers. 

The  scorpion  was  also  the  symbol  of  wisdom,  for  the  fire  which  it  controlled  was  capable  of 
illuminating  as  well  as  consuming.  Initiation  into  the  Greater  Mysteries  among  the  pagans  was  said  to 
take  place  only  in  the  sign  of  the  scorpion.  In  the  papyrus  of  Ani  (The  Book  of  the  Dead),  the  deceased 
likens  his  soul  to  a  scorpion,  saying:  "I  am  a  swallow,  I  am  that  scorpion,  the  daughter  of  Ra!" 
Elizabeth  Goldsmith,  in  her  treatise  on  Sex  Symbolism,  states  that  the  scorpions  were  a  "symbol  of 
Selk,  the  Egyptian  goddess  of  writing,  and  also  [were]  revered  by  the  Babylonians  and  Assyrians  as 
guardians  of  the  gateway  of  the  sun.  Seven  scorpions  were  said  to  have  accompanied  Isis  when  she 
searched  for  the  remains  of  Osiris  scattered  by  Set"  (Typhon). 

In  his  Chaldean  Account  of  the  Genesis,  George  Smith,  copying  from  the  cuneiform  cylinders,  in 
describing  the  wanderings  of  the  hero  Izdubar  (Nimrod),  throws  some  light  on  the  scorpion  god  who 
guards  the  sun.  The  tablet  which  he  translated  is  not  perfect,  but  the  meaning  is  fairly  clear:  "*  *  * 
who  each  day  guard  the  rising  sun.  Their  crown  was  at  the  lattice  of  heaven,  under  hell  their  feet  were 
placed  [the  spinal  column].  The  scorpion  man  guarded  the  gate,  burning  with  terribleness,  their 
appearance  was  like  death,  the  might  of  his  fear  shook  the  forest.  At  the  rising  of  the  sun  and  the 
setting  of  the  sun,  they  guarded  the  sun;  Izdubar  saw  them  and  fear  and  terror  came  into  his  face." 
Among  the  early  Latins  there  was  a  machine  of  war  called  the  scorpion.  It  was  used  for  firing  arrows 
and  probably  obtained  its  name  from  a  long  beam,  resembling  a  scorpion's  tail,  which  flew  up  to  hurl 
the  arrows.  The  missiles  discharged  by  this  machine  were  also  called  scorpions. 

The  butterfly  (under  the  name  of  Psyche,  a  beautiful  maiden  with  wings  of  opalescent  light) 
symbolizes  the  human  soul  because  of  the  stages  it  passes  through  in  order  to  unfold  its  power  of 
flight.  The  three  divisions  through  which  the  butterfly  passes  in  its  unfoldment  resemble  closely  the 
three  degrees  of  the  Mystery  School,  which  degrees  are  regarded  as  consummating  the  unfoldment  of 
man  by  giving  him  emblematic  wings  by  which  he  may  soar  to  the  skies.  Unregenerate  man,  ignorant 
and  helpless,  is  symbolized  by  the  stage  between  ovum  and  larva;  the  disciple,  seeking  truth  and 
dwelling  in  medication,  by  the  second  stage,  from  larva  to  pupa,  at  which  time  the  insect  enters  its 
chrysalis  (the  tomb  of  the  Mysteries);  the  third  stage,  from  pupa  to  imago  (wherein  the  perfect 
butterfly  comes  forth),  typifies  the  unfolded  enlightened  soul  of  the  initiate  rising  from  the  tomb  of 
his  baser  nature. 

Night  moths  typify  the  secret  wisdom,  because  they  are  hard  to  discover  and  are  concealed  by  the 
darkness  (ignorance).  Some  are  emblems  of  death,  asAcherontia  atropos,  the  death's-head  moth, 
which  has  a  marking  on  its  body  somewhat  like  a  human  skull.  The  death-watch  beetle,  which  was 
believed  to  give  warning  of  approaching  death  by  a  peculiar  ticking  sound,  is  another  instance  of 
insects  involved  in  human  affairs. 

Opinions  differ  concerning  the  spider.  Its  shape  makes  it  an  appropriate  emblem  of  the  nerve  plexus 
and  ganglia  of  the  human  body.  Some  Europeans  consider  it  extremely  bad  luck  to  kill  a  spider- 
possibly  because  it  is  looked  upon  as  an  emissary  of  the  Evil  One,  whom  no  person  desires  to  offend. 
There  is  a  mystery  concerning  all  poisonous  creatures,  especially  insects.  Paracelsus  taught  that  the 
spider  was  the  medium  for  a  powerful  but  evil  force  which  the  Black  Magicians  used  in  their  nefarious 

Certain  plants,  minerals,  and  animals  have  been  sacred  among  all  the  nations  of  the  earth  because  of 
their  peculiar  sensitiveness  to  the  astral  fire~a  mysterious  agency  in  Nature  which  the  scientific  world 
has  contacted  through  its  manifestations  as  electricity  and  magnetism.  Lodestone  and  radium  in  the 
mineral  world  and  various  parasitic  growths  in  the  plant  kingdom  are  strangely  susceptible  to  this 
cosmic  electric  fire,  or  universal  life  force.  The  magicians  of  the  Middle  Ages  surrounded  themselves 
with  such  creatures  as  bats,  spiders,  cats,  snakes,  and  monkeys,  because  they  were  able  to  appropriate 
the  life  forces  of  these  species  and  use  them  to  the  attainment  of  their  own  ends.  Some  ancient 
schools  of  wisdom  taught  that  all  poisonous  insects  and  reptiles  are  germinated  out  of  the  evil  nature 
of  man,  and  that  when  intelligent  human  beings  no  longer  breed  hate  in  their  own  souls  there  will  be 
no  more  ferocious  animals,  loathsome  diseases,  or  poisonous  plants  and  insects. 

Among  the  American  Indians  is  the  legend  of  a  "Spider  Man,"  whose  web  connected  the  heaven 
worlds  with  the  earth.  The  secret  schools  of  India  symbolize  certain  of  the  gods  who  labored  with  the 
universe  during  its  making  as  connecting  the  realms  of  light  with  those  of  darkness  by  means  of  webs. 
Therefore  the  builders  of  the  cosmic  system  who  held  the  embryonic  universe  together  with  threads  of 
invisible  force  were  sometimes  referred  to  as  the  Spider  Gods  and  their  ruler  was  designated  The 
Great  Spider. 

The  beehive  is  found  in  Masonry  as  a  reminder  that  in  diligence  and  labor  for  a  common  good  true 
happiness  and  prosperity  are  found.  The  bee  is  a  symbol  of  wisdom,  for  as  this  tiny  insect  collects 
pollen  from  the  flowers,  so  men  may  extract  wisdom  from  the  experiences  of  daily  life.  The  bee  is 
sacred  to  the  goddess  Venus  and,  according  to  mystics,  it  is  one  of  several  forms  of  life  which  came  to 
the  earth  from  the  planet  Venus  millions  of  years  ago.  Wheat  and  bananas  are  said  to  be  of  similar 
origin.  This  is  the  reason  why  the  origin  of  these  three  forms  of  life  cannot  be  traced.  The  fact  that 
bees  are  ruled  by  queens  is  one  reason  why  this  insect  is  considered  a  sacred  feminine  symbol. 

In  India  the  god  Prana~the  personification  of  the  universal  life  force—is  sometimes  shown 
surrounded  by  a  circle  of  bees.  Because  of  its  importance  in  poUenizing  flowers,  the  bee  is  the 
accepted  symbol  of  the  generative  power.  At  one  time  the  bee  was  the  emblem  of  the  French  kings. 
The  rulers  of  France  wore  robes  embroidered  with  bees,  and  the  canopies  of  their  thrones  were 
decorated  with  gigantic  figures  of  these  insects. 

The  fly  symbolizes  the  tormentor,  because  of  the  annoyance  it  causes  to  animals.  The  Chaldean  god 
Baal  was  often  called  Baal-Zebul,  or  the  god  of  the  dwelling  place.  The  word  zebub,  or  zabab,  means  a 
fly,  and  Baal-Zebul  became  Baalzebub,  or  Beelzebub,  a  word  which  was  loosely  translated  to  mean 
Jupiter's  fly.  The  fly  was  looked  upon  as  a  form  of  the  divine  power,  because  of  its  ability  to  destroy 
decaying  substances  and  thus  promote  health.  The  fly  may  have  obtained  its  name  Zebub  from  its 
peculiar  buzzing  or  humming.  Inman  believes  that  Baalzebub,  which  the  Jews  ridiculed  as  My  Lord  of 
Flies,  really  means  My  Lord  Who  Hums  or  Murmurs. 

Inman  recalls  the  singing  Memnon  on  the  Egyptian  desert,  a  tremendous  figure  with  an  ^Eolian  harp 
on  the  top  of  its  head.  When  the  wind  blows  strongly  this  great  Statue  sighs,  or  hums.  The  Jews 
changed  Baalzebub  into  Beelzebub,  and  made  him  their  prince  of  devils  by  interpreting  dsemon  as 
"demon."  Naudseus,  in  defending  Virgil  from  accusations  of  sorcery,  attempted  a  wholesale  denial  of 
the  miracles  supposedly  performed  by  Virgil  and  produced  enough  evidence  to  convict  the  poet  on  all 
counts.  Among  other  strange  fears,  Virgil  fashioned  a  fly  out  of  brass,  and  after  certain  mysterious 
ceremonies,  placed  it  over  one  of  the  gates  of  Naples.  As  a  result,  no  flies  entered  the  city  for  more 
than  eight  years. 


The  serpent  was  chosen  as  the  head  of  the  reptilian  family.  Serpent  worship  in  some  form  has 
permeated  nearly  all  parts  of  the 


The  bee  was  used  as,  a  symbol  of  royalty  by  the  immortal  Charlemagne,  and  it  is  probable  that  the  fleur-de-lis,  or  lily  of 
France,  is  merely  a  conventionalized  bee  and  not  a  flower.  There  is  an  ancient  Greek  legend  to  the  effect  that  the  nine 
Muses  occasionally  assumed  the  form  of  bees. 


From  Paracelsus'  Archidoxes  Magica. 

The  scorpion  often  appears  upon  the  talismans  and  charms  of  the  Middle  Ages.  This  hieroglyphic  Arac/inida  was 
supposed  to  have  the  power  of  curing  disease.  The  scorpion  shown  above  was  composed  of  several  metals,  and  was  made 
under  certain  planetary  configurations.  Paracelsus  advised  that  it  be  worn  by  those  suffering  from  any  derangement  of  the 
reproductive  system. 

p.  88 

earth.  The  serpent  mounds  of  the  American  Indian;  the  carved-stone  snakes  of  Central  and  South 
America;  the  hooded  cobras  of  India;  Python,  the  great  snake  o  the  Greeks;  the  sacred  serpents  of  the 
Druids;  the  Midgard  snake  of  Scandinavia;  the  Nagas  of  Burma,  Siam,  and  Cambodia;  the  brazen 
serpent  of  the  Jews;  the  mystic  serpent  of  Orpheus;  the  snakes  at  the  oracle;  of  Delphi  twining 
themselves  around  the  tripod  upon  which  the  Pythian  priestess  sat,  the  tripod  itself  being  in  the  form 
of  twisted  serpents;  the  sacred  serpents  preserved  in  the  Egyptian  temples;  the  Urseus  coiled  upon  the 
foreheads  of  the  Pharaohs  and  priests; —all  these  bear  witness  to  the  universal  veneration  in  which  the 
snake  was  held.  In  the  ancient  Mysteries  the  serpent  entwining  a  staff  was  the  symbol  of  the  physician. 

The  serpent-wound  staff  of  Hermes  remains  the  emblem  of  the  medical  profession.  Among  nearly  all 

these  ancient  peoples  the  serpent  was  accepted  as  the  symbol  of  wisdom  or  salvation.  The  antipathy 
which  Christendom  feels  towards  the  snake  is  based  upon  the  little-understood  allegory  of  the  Garden 
of  Eden. 

The  serpent  is  true  to  the  principle  of  wisdom,  for  it  tempts  man  to  the  knowledge  of  himself. 
Therefore  the  knowledge  of  self  resulted  from  man's  disobedience  to  the  Demiurgus,  Jehovah.  How 
the  serpent  came  to  be  in  the  garden  of  the  Lord  after  God  had  declared  that  all  creatures  which  He 
had  made  during  the  six  days  of  creation  were  good  has  not  been  satisfactorily  answered  by  the 
interpreters  of  Scripture.  The  tree  that  grows  in  the  midst  of  the  garden  is  the  spinal  fire;  the 
knowledge  of  the  use  of  that  spinal  fire  is  the  gift  of  the  great  serpent.  Notwithstanding  statements  to 
the  contrary,  the  serpent  is  the  symbol  and  prototype  of  the  Universal  Savior,  who  redeems  the 
worlds  by  giving  creation  the  knowledge  of  itself  and  the  realization  of  good  and  evil.  If  this  be  not  so, 
why  did  Moses  raise  a  brazen  serpent  upon  a  cross  in  the  wilderness  that  all  who  looked  upon  it  might 
be  saved  from  the  sting  of  the  lesser  snakes?  Was  not  the  brazen  serpent  a  prophecy  of  the  crucified 
Man  to  come?  If  the  serpent  be  only  a  thing  of  evil,  why  did  Christ  instruct  His  disciples  to  be  as  wise 
as  serpents? 

The  accepted  theory  that  the  serpent  is  evil  cannot  be  substantiated.  It  has  long  been  viewed  as  the 
emblem  of  immortality.  It  is  the  symbol  of  reincarnation,  or  metempsychosis,  because  it  annually 
sheds  its  skin,  reappearing,  as  it  were,  in  a  new  body.  There  is  an  ancient  superstition  to  the  effect 
that  snakes  never  die  except  by  violence  and  that,  if  uninjured,  they  would  live  forever.  It  was  also 
believed  that  snakes  swallowed  themselves,  and  this  resulted  in  their  being  considered  emblematic  of 
the  Supreme  Creator,  who  periodically  reabsorbed  His  universe  back  into  Himself. 

In  Isis  Unveiled,  H.  P.  Blavatsky  makes  this  significant  statement  concerning  the  origin  of  serpent 
worship:  "Before  our  globe  had  become  egg-shaped  or  round  it  was  a  long  trail  of  cosmic  dust  or  fire- 
mist,  moving  and  writhing  like  a  serpent.  This,  say  the  explanations,  was  the  Spirit  of  God  moving  on 
the  chaos  until  its  breath  had  incubated  cosmic  matter  and  made  it  assume  the  annular  shape  of  a 
serpent  with  its  tail  in  its  month—emblem  of  eternity  in  its  spiritual  and  of  our  world  in  its  physical 

The  seven-headed  snake  represents  the  Supreme  Deity  manifesting  through  His  Elohim,  or  Seven 
Spirits,  by  whose  aid  He  established  His  universe.  The  coils  of  the  snake  have  been  used  by  the 
pagans  to  symbolize  the  motion  and  also  the  orbits  of  the  celestial  bodies,  and  it  is  probable  that  the 
symbol  of  the  serpent  twisted  around  the  egg— which  was  common  to  many  of  the  ancient  Mystery 
schools—represented  both  the  apparent  motion  of  the  sun  around  the  earth,  and  the  bands  of  astral 
light,  or  the  great  magical  agent,  which  move  about  the  planet  incessantly. 

Electricity  was  commonly  symbolized  by  the  serpent  because  of  its  motion.  Electricity  passing 
between  the  poles  of  a  spark  gap  is  serpentine  in  its  motion.  Force  projected  through  atmosphere  was 
called  The  Great  Snake.  Being  symbolic  of  universal  force,  the  serpent  was  emblematic  of  both  good 
and  evil.  Force  can  tear  down  as  rapidly  as  it  can  build  up.  The  serpent  with  its  tail  in  its  mouth  is  the 
symbol  of  eternity,  for  in  this  position  the  body  of  the  reptile  has  neither  beginning  nor  end.  The  head 
and  tail  represent  the  positive  and  negative  poles  of  the  cosmic  life  circuit.  The  initiates  of  the 
Mysteries  were  often  referred  to  as  serpents,  and  their  wisdom  was  considered  analogous  to  the 
divinely  inspired  power  of  the  snake.  There  is  no  doubt  that  the  title  "Winged  Serpents"  (the 
Seraphim?)  was  given  to  one  of  the  invisible  hierarchies  that  labored  with  the  earth  during  its  early 

There  is  a  legend  that  in  the  beginning  of  the  world  winged  serpents  reigned  upon  the  earth.  These 

were  probably  the  demigods  which  antedate  the  historical  civilization  of  every  nation.  The  symbolic 
relationship  between  the  sun  and  the  serpent  found  literal  witness  in  the  fact  that  life  remains  in  the 

snake  until  sunset,  even  though  it  be  cut  into  a  dozen  parts.  The  Hopi  Indians  consider  the  serpent  to 

be  in  close  communication  with  the  Earth  Spirit.  Therefore,  at  the  time  of  their  annual  snake  dance 
they  send  their  prayers  to  the  Earth  Spirit  by  first  specially  sanctifying  large  numbers  of  these  reptiles 
and  then  liberating  them  to  return  to  the  earth  with  the  prayers  of  the  tribe. 

The  great  rapidity  of  motion  manifested  by  lizards  has  caused  them  to  be  associated  with  Mercury, 
the  Messenger  of  the  Gods,  whose  winged  feet  traveled  infinite  distances  almost  instantaneously.  A 
point  which  must  not  be  overlooked  in  connection  with  reptiles  in  symbolism  is  clearly  brought  out  by 
the  eminent  scholar.  Dr.  H.  E.  Santee,  in  his  Anatomy  of  the  Brain  and  Spinal  Cord:  "In  reptiles 
there  are  two  pineal  bodies,  an  anterior  and  a  posterior,  of  which  the  posterior  remains  undeveloped 
but  the  anterior  forms  a  rudimentary,  cyclopean  eye.  In  the  Hatteria,  a  New  Zealand  lizard,  it  projects 
through  the  parietal  foramen  and  presents  an  imperfect  lens  and  retina  and,  in  its  long  stalk,  nerve 

Crocodiles  were  regarded  by  the  Egyptians  both  as  symbols  of  Typhon  and  emblems  of  the  Supreme 
Deity,  of  the  latter  because  while  under  water  the  crocodile  is  capable  of  seeing—Plutarch  asserts— 
though  its  eyes  are  covered  by  a  thin  membrane.  The  Egyptians  declared  that  no  matter  how  far  away 
the  crocodile  laid  its  eggs,  the  Nile  would  reach  up  to  them  in  its  next  inundation,  this  reptile  being 
endowed  with  a  mysterious  sense  capable  of  making  known  the  extent  of  the  flood  months  before  it 
took  place.  There  were  two  kinds  of  crocodiles.  The  larger  and  more  ferocious  was  hated  by  the 
Egyptians,  for  they  likened  it  to  the  nature  of  Typhon,  their  destroying  demon.  Typhon  waited  to 
devour  all  who  failed  to  pass  the  judgment  of  the  Dead,  which  rite  took  place  in  the  Hall  of  Justice 
between  the  earth  and  the  Elysian  Fields.  Anthony  Todd  Thomson  thus  describes  the  good  treatment 
accorded  the  smaller  and  tamer  crocodiles,  which  the  Egyptians  accepted  as  personifications  of  good: 
"They  were  fed  daily  and  occasionally  had  mulled  wine  poured  down  their  throats.  Their  ears  were 
ornamented  with  rings  of  gold  and  precious  stones,  and  their  forefeet  adorned  with  bracelets." 

To  the  Chinese  the  turtle  was  a  symbol  of  longevity.  At  a  temple  in  Singapore  a  number  of  sacred 
turtles  are  kept,  their  age  recorded  by  carvings  on  their  shells.  The  American  Indians  use  the  ridge 
down  the  back  of  the  turtle  shell  as  a  symbol  of  the  Great  Divide  between  life  and  death.  The  turtle  is  a 
symbol  of  wisdom  because  it  retires  into  itself  and  is  its  own  protection.  It  is  also  a  phallic  symbol,  as 
its  relation  to  long  life  would  signify.  The  Hindus  symbolized  the  universe  as  being  supported  on  the 
backs  of  four  great  elephants  who,  in  turn,  are  standing  upon  an  immense  turtle  which  is  crawling 
continually  through  chaos. 

The  Egyptian  sphinx,  the  Greek  centaur,  and  the  Assyrian  man -bull  have  much  in  common.  All  are 
composite  creatures  combining  human  and  animal  members;  in  the  Mysteries  all  signify  the 
composite  nature  of  man  and  subtly  refer  to  the  hierarchies  of  celestial  beings  that  have  charge  of  the 
destiny  of  mankind.  These  hierarchies  are  the  twelve  holy  animals  now  known  as  constellations—star 
groups  which  are  merely  symbols  of  impersonal  spiritual  impulses.  Chiron,  the  centaur,  teaching  the 
sons  of  men,  symbolizes  the  intelligences  of  the  constellation  of  Sagittarius,  who  were  the  custodians 
of  the  secret  doctrine  while  (geocentrically)  the  sun  was  passing  through  the  sign  of  Gemini.  The  five- 
footed  Assyrian  man-bull  with  the  wings  of  an  eagle  and  the  head  of  a  man  is  a  reminder  that  the 
invisible  nature  of  man  has  the  wings  of  a  god,  the  head  of  a  man,  and  the  body  of  a  beast.  The  same 
concept  was  expressed  through  the  sphinx— that  armed  guardian  of  the  Mysteries  who,  crouching  at 
the  gate  of  the  temple,  denied  entrance  to  the  profane.  Thus  placed  between  man  and  his  divine 
possibilities,  the  sphinx  also  represented  the  secret  doctrine  itself.  Children's  fairy  stories  abound 
with  descriptions  of  symbolic  monsters,  for  nearly  all  such  tales  are  based  upon  the  ancient  mystic 


From  Kircher's  CEdipus^Egyptiacus. 

The  spinal  cord  was  symbolized  by  a  snake,  and  the  serpent  coiled  upon  the  foreheads  of  the  Egyptian  initiates 
represented  the  Divine  Fire  which  had  crawled  serpentlike  up  the  Tree  of  Life. 


From  Maurice's  Indian  Antiquities. 

Both  Mithras,  the  Persian  Redeemer,  and  Serapis,  the  Egyptian  God  of  the  Earth,  are  symbolized  by  serpents  coiled  about 
their  bodies.  This  remarkable  drawing  shows  the  good  and  evil  principles  of  Persia— Ahura-Mazda  and  Ahriman— 
contending  for  the  Egg  of  the  Earth,  which  each  trying  to  wrench  from  the  teeth  of  the  other. 

p.  89 

Fishes,  Insects,  Animals,  Reptiles  and 


(Part  Two) 

AS  appropriate  emblems  of  various  human  and  divine  attributes  birds  were  included  in  religious  and 
philosophic  symbolism  that  of  pagans  and  of  Christians  alike.  Cruelty  was  signified  by  the  buzzard; 
courage  by  the  eagle;  self-sacrifice  by  the  pelican;  and  pride  by  the  peacock.  The  ability  of  birds  to 
leave  the  earth  and  fly  aloft  toward  the  source  of  light  has  resulted  in  their  being  associated  with 
aspiration,  purity,  and  beauty.  Wings  were  therefore  often  added  to  various  terrene  creatures  in  an 
effort  to  suggest  transcendency.  Because  their  habitat  was  among  the  branches  of  the  sacred  trees  in 
the  hearts  of  ancient  forests,  birds  were  also  regarded  as  the  appointed  messengers  of  the  tree  spirits 
and  Nature  gods  dwelling  in  these  consecrated  groves,  and  through  their  clear  notes  the  gods 
themselves  were  said  to  speak.  Many  myths  have  been  fabricated  to  explain  the  brilliant  plumage  of 
birds.  A  familiar  example  is  the  story  of  Juno's  peacock,  in  whose  tail  feathers  were  placed  the  eyes  of 
Argus.  Numerous  American  Indian  legends  also  deal  with  birds  and  the  origin  of  the  various  colors  of 
feathers.  The  Navahos  declare  that  when  all  living  things  climbed  to  the  stalk  of  a  bamboo  to  escape 
the  Flood,  the  wild  turkey  was  on  the  lowest  branch  and  his  tail  feathers  trailed  in  the  water;  hence 
the  color  was  all  washed  out. 

Gravitation,  which  is  a  law  in  the  material  world,  is  the  impulse  toward  the  center  of  materiality; 
levitation,  which  is  a  law  in  the  spiritual  world,  is  the  impulse  toward  the  center  of  spirituality. 
Seeming  to  be  capable  of  neutralizing  the  effect  of  gravity,  the  bird  was  said  to  partake  of  a  nature 
superior  to  other  terrestrial  creation;  and  its  feathers,  because  of  their  sustaining  power,  came  to  be 
accepted  as  symbols  of  divinity,  courage,  and  accomplishment.  A  notable  example  is  the  dignity 
attached  to  eagle  feathers  by  the  American  Indians,  among  whom  they  are  insignia  of  merit.  Angels 
have  been  invested  with  wings  because,  like  birds,  they  were  considered  to  be  the  intermediaries 
between  the  gods  and  men  and  to  inhabit  the  air  or  middle  kingdom  betwixt  heaven  and  earth.  As  the 
dome  of  the  heavens  was  likened  to  a  skull  in  the  Gothic  Mysteries,  so  the  birds  which  flew  across  the 
sky  were  regarded  as  thoughts  of  the  Deity.  For  this  reason  Odin's  two  messenger  ravens  were  called 
Hugin  and  Munin— thought  and  memory. 

Among  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  the  eagle  was  the  appointed  bird  of  Jupiter  and  consequently 
signified  the  swiftly  moving  forces  of  the  Demiurgus;  hence  it  was  looked  upon  as  the  mundane  lord 
of  the  birds,  in  contradistinction  to  the  phoenix,  which  was  symbolic  of  the  celestial  ruler.  The  eagle 
typified  the  sun  in  its  material  phase  and  also  the  immutable  Demiurgic  law  beneath  which  all  mortal 
creatures  must  bend.  The  eagle  was  also  the  Hermetic  symbol  of  sulphur,  and  signified  the 
mysterious  fire  of  Scorpio— the  most  profoundly  significant  sign  of  the  zodiac  and  the  Gate  of  the 
Great  Mystery.  Being  one  of  the  three  symbols  of  Scorpio,  the  eagle,  like  the  Goat  of  Mendes,  was  an 
emblem  of  the  theurgic  art  and  the  secret  processes  by  which  the  infernal  fire  of  the  scorpion  was 
transmuted  into  the  spiritual  light-fire  of  the  gods. 

Among  certain  American  Indian  tribes  the  thunderbird  is  held  in  peculiar  esteem.  This  divine 
creature  is  said  to  live  above  the  clouds;  the  flapping  of  its  wings  causes  the  rumbling  which 
accompanies  storms,  while  the  flashes  from  its  eyes  are  the  lightning.  Birds  were  used  to  signify  the 
vital  breath;  and  among  the  Egyptians,  mysterious  hawklike  birds  with  human  heads,  and  carrying  in 
their  claws  the  symbols  of  immortality,  are  often  shown  hovering  as  emblems  of  the  liberated  soul 
over  the  mummified  bodies  of  the  dead.  In  Egypt  the  hawk  was  the  sacred  symbol  of  the  sun;  and  Ra, 
Osiris,  and  Horns  are  often  depicted  with  the  heads  of  hawks.  The  cock,  or  rooster,  was  a  symbol  of 

Cashmala  (Cadmillus)  in  the  Samothracian  Mysteries,  and  is  also  a  phallic  symbol  sacred  to  the  sun. 
It  was  accepted  by  the  Greeks  as  the  emblem  of  Ares  (Mars)  and  typified  watchfulness  and  defense. 
When  placed  in  the  center  of  a  weather  vane  it  signifies  the  sun  in  the  midst  of  the  four  corners  of 
creation.  The  Greeks  sacrificed  a  rooster  to  the  gods  at  the  time  of  entering  the  Eleusinian  Mysteries. 
Sir  Francis  Bacon  is  supposed  to  have  died  as  the  result  of  stuffing  a  fowl  with  snow.  May  this  not 
signify  Bacon's  initiation  into  the  pagan  Mysteries  which  still  existed  in  his  day? 

Both  the  peacock  and  the  ibis  were  objects  of  veneration  because  they  destroyed  the  poisonous 
reptiles  which  were  popularly  regarded  as  the  emissaries  of  the  infernal  gods.  Because  of  the  myriad 
of  eyes  in  its  tail  feathers  the  peacock  was  accepted  as  the  symbol  of  wisdom,  and  on  account  of  its 
general  appearance  it  was  often  confused  with  the  fabled  phoenix  of  the  Mysteries.  There  is  a  curious 
belief  that  the  flesh  of  the  peacock  will  not  putrefy  even  though  kept  for  a  considerable  time.  As  an 
outgrowth  of  this  belief  the  peacock  became  the  emblem  of  immortality,  because  the  spiritual  nature 
of  man—like  the  flesh  of  this  bird—is  incorruptible. 

The  Egyptians  paid  divine  honors  to  the  ibis  and  it  was  a  cardinal  crime  to  kill  one,  even  by  accident. 
It  was  asserted  that  the  ibis  could  live  only  in  Egypt  and  that  if  transported  to  a  foreign  country  it 
would  die  of  grief.  The  Egyptians  declared  this  bird  to  be  the  preserver  of  crops  and  especially  worthy 
of  veneration  because  it  drove  out  the  winged  serpents  of  Libya  which  the  wind  blew  into  Egypt.  The 
ibis  was  sacred  to  Thoth,  and  when  its  head  and  neck  were  tucked  under  its  wing  its  body  closely 
resembled  a  human  heart.  (See  Montfaucon's  Antiquities.)  The  black  and  white  ibis  was  sacred  to  the 
moon;  but  all  forms  were  revered  because  they  destroyed  crocodile  eggs,  the  crocodile  being  a  symbol 
of  the  detested  Typhon. 

Nocturnal  birds  were  appropriate  symbols  of  both  sorcery  and  the  secret  divine  sciences:  sorcery 
because  black  magic  cannot  function  in  the  light  of  truth  (day)  and  is  powerful  only  when  surrounded 
by  ignorance  (night);  and  the  divine  sciences  because  those  possessing  the  arcana  are  able  to  see 
through  the  darkness  of  ignorance  and  materiality.  Owls  and  bats  were  consequently  often  associated 
with  either  witchcraft  or  wisdom.  The  goose  was  an  emblem  of  the  first  primitive  substance  or 
condition  from  which  and  within  which  the  worlds  were  fashioned.  In  the  Mysteries,  the  universe  was 
likened  to  an  egg  which  the  Cosmic  Goose  had  laid  in  space.  Because  of  its  blackness  the  crow  was  the 
symbol  of  chaos  or  the  chaotic  darkness  preceding  the  light  of  creation.  The  grace  and  purity  of  the 
swan  were  emblematic  of  the  spiritual  grace  and  purity  of  the  initiate.  This  bird  also  represented  the 
Mysteries  which  unfolded  these  qualities  in  humanity.  This  explains  the  allegories  of  the  gods  (the 
secret  wisdom)  incarnating  in  the  body  of  a  swan  (the  initiate). 

Being  scavengers,  the  vulture,  the  buzzard,  and  the  condor  signified  that  form  of  divine  power  which 
by  disposing  of  refuse  and  other  matter  dangerous  to  the  life  and  health  of  humanity  cleanses  and 
purifies  the  lower  spheres.  These  birds  were  therefore  adopted  as  symbols  of  the  disintegrative 
processes  which  accomplish  good  while  apparently  destroying,  and  by  some  religions  have  been 
mistakenly  regarded  as  evil.  Birds  such  as  the  parrot  and  raven  were  accorded  veneration  because, 
being  able  to  mimic  the  human  voice,  they  were  looked  upon  as  links  between  the  human  and  animal 

The  dove,  accepted  by  Christianity  as  the  emblem  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  is  an  extremely  ancient  and 
highly  revered  pagan  yonic  emblem.  In  many  of  the  ancient  Mysteries  it  represented  the  third  person 
of  the  Creative  Triad,  or  the  Fabricator  of  the  world.  As  the  lower  worlds  were  brought  into  existence 
through  a  generative  process,  so  the  dove  has  been  associated  with  those  deities  identified  with  the 
procreative  functions.  It  is  sacred  to  Astarte,  Cybele,  Isis,  Venus,  Juno,  Mylitta,  and  Aphrodite.  On 
account  of  its  gentleness  and  devotion  to  its  young,  the  dove  was  looked  upon  as  the  embodiment  of 
the  maternal  instinct.  The  dove  is  also  an  emblem  of  wisdom,  for  it  represents  the  power  and  order  by 
which  the  lower  worlds  are  maintained.  It  has  long  been  accepted  as  a  messenger  of  the  divine  will, 
and  signifies  the  activity  of  God. 

The  name  dove  has  been  given  to  oracles  and  to  prophets.  "The  true  name  of  the  dove  was  lonah  or 
Idnas;  it  was  a  very  sacred  emblem,  and  atone  time  almost  universally  received;  it  was  adopted  by  the 
Hebrews;  and  the  mystic  Dove  was  regarded  as  a  symbol 


From  Lycosthenes'  Prodigiorum,  ac  Ostentorum  Chronicon. 

The  phoenix  is  the  most  celebrated  of  all  the  symbolic  creatures  fabricated  by  the  ancient  Mysteries  for  the  purpose  of 
concealing  the  great  truths  of  esoteric  philosophy.  Though  modern  scholars  of  natural  history  declare  the  existence  of  the 
phoenix  to  be  purely  mythical,  Pliny  describes  the  capture  of  one  of  these  birds  and  it  exhibition  in  the  Roman  Forum 
during  the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Claudius. 

p.  90 

from  the  days  of  Noah  by  all  those  who  were  of  the  Church  of  God.  The  prophet  sent  to  Ninevah  as 
God's  messenger  was  called  Jonah  or  the  Dove;  our  Lord's  forerunner,  the  Baptist,  was  called  in 
Greek  by  the  name  of  loannes;  and  so  was  the  Apostle  of  Love,  the  author  Of  the  fourth  Gospel  and  of 
the  Apocalypse,  named  loannes."  (Bryant's  Ana/ysis  of  Ancient  Mythology.) 

In  Masonry  the  dove  is  the  symbol  of  purity  and  innocence.  It  is  significant  that  in  the  pagan 
Mysteries  the  dove  of  Venus  was  crucified  upon  the  four  spokes  of  a  great  wheel,  thus  foreshadowing 
the  mystery  of  the  crucified  Lord  of  Love.  Although  Mohammed  drove  the  doves  from  the  temple  at 
Mecca,  occasionally  he  is  depicted  with  a  dove  sitting  upon  his  shoulder  as  the  symbol  of  divine 
inspiration.  In  ancient  times  the  effigies  of  doves  were  placed  upon  the  heads  of  scepters  to  signify 
that  those  bearing  them  were  overshadowed  by  divine  prerogative.  In  mediaeval  art,  the  dove 
frequently  was  pictured  as  an  emblem  of  divine  benediction. 


Clement,  one  of  the  ante-Nicaean  Fathers,  describes,  in  the  first  century  after  Christ,  the  peculiar 
nature  and  habits  of  the  phoenix,  in  this  wise:  "There  is  a  certain  bird  which  is  called  a  Phoenix.  This  is 
the  only  one  of  its  kind  and  lives  five  hundred  years.  And  when  the  time  of  its  dissolution  draws  near 
that  it  must  die,  it  builds  itself  a  nest  of  frankincense,  and  myrrh,  and  other  spices,  into  which,  when 
the  time  is  fulfilled,  it  enters  and  dies.  But  as  the  flesh  decays  a  certain  kind  of  worm  is  produced, 
which,  being  nourished  by  the  juices  of  the  dead  bird,  brings  forth  feathers.  Then,  when  it  has 
acquired  strength,  it  takes  up  that  nest  in  which  are  the  bones  of  its  parent,  and  bearing  these  it 
passes  from  the  land  of  Arabia  into  Egypt,  to  the  city  called  Heliopolis.  And,  in  open  day,  flying  in  the 

sight  of  all  men,  it  places  them  on  the  altar  of  the  sun,  and  having  done  this,  hastens  back  to  its 
former  abode.  The  priests  then  inspect  the  registers  of  the  dates,  and  find  that  it  has  returned  exactly 
as  the  five  hundredth  year  was  completed." 

Although  admitting  that  he  had  not  seen  the  phcenix  bird  (there  being  only  one  alive  at  a  time), 
Herodotus  amplifies  a  bit  the  description  given  by  Clement:  "They  tell  a  story  of  what  this  bird  does 
which  does  not  seem  to  me  to  be  credible:  that  he  comes  all  the  way  from  Arabia,  and  brings  the 
parent  bird,  all  plastered  with  myrrh,  to  the  temple  of  the  sun,  and  there  buries  the  body.  In  order  to 
bring  him,  they  say,  he  first  forms  a  ball  of  myrrh  as  big  as  he  finds  that  he  can  carry;  then  he  hollows 
out  the  ball,  and  puts  his  parent  inside;  after  which  he  covers  over  the  opening  with  fresh  myrrh,  and 
the  ball  is  then  of  exactly  the  same  weight  as  at  first;  so  he  brings  it  to  Egypt,  plastered  over  as  I  have 
said,  and  deposits  it  in  the  temple  of  the  sun.  Such  is  the  story  they  tell  of  the  doings  of  this  bird." 

Both  Herodotus  and  Pliny  noted  the  general  resemblance  in  shape  between  the  phoenix  and  the  eagle, 
a  point  which  the  reader  should  carefully  consider,  for  it  is  reasonably  certain  that  the  modern 
Masonic  eagle  was  originally  a  phoenix.  The  body  of  the  phoenix  is  described  as  having  been  covered 
AAdth  glossy  purple  feathers,  while  its  long  tail  feathers  were  alternately  blue  and  red.  Its  head  was 
light  in  color  and  about  its  neck  was  a  circlet  of  golden  plumage.  At  the  back  of  its  head  the  phoenix 
had  a  peculiar  tuft  of  feathers,  a  fact  quite  evident,  although  it  has  been  overlooked  by  most  writers 
and  symbolists. 

The  phoenix  was  regarded  as  sacred  to  the  sun,  and  the  length  of  its  life  (500  to  1000  years)  was  taken 
as  a  standard  for  measuring  the  motion  of  the  heavenly  bodies  and  also  the  cycles  of  time  used  in  the 
Mysteries  to  designate  the  periods  of  existence.  The  diet  of  the  bird  was  unknown.  Some  writers 
declare  that  it  subsisted  upon  the  atmosphere;  others  that  it  ate  at  rare  intervals  but  never  in  the 
presence  of  man.  Modern  Masons  should  realize  the  special  Masonic  significance  of  the  phoenix,  for 
the  bird  is  described  as  using  sprigs  of  acacia  in  the  manufacture  of  its  nest. 

The  phoenix  (which  is  the  mythological  Persian  roc)  is  also  the  name  of  a  Southern  constellation,  and 
therefore  it  has  both  an  astronomical  and  an  astrological  significance.  In  all  probability,  the  phoenix 
was  the  swan  of  the  Greeks,  the  eagle  of  the  Romans,  and  the  peacock  of  the  Far  East.  To  the  ancient 
mystics  the  phoenix  was  a  most  appropriate  symbol  of  the  immortality  of  the  human  soul,  for  just  as 
the  phoenix  was  reborn  out  of  its  own  dead  self  seven  times  seven,  so  again  and  again  the  spiritual 
nature  of  man  rises  triumphant  from  his  dead  physical  body. 

Mediaeval  Hermetists  regarded  the  phoenix  as  a  symbol  of  the  accomplishment  of  alchemical 
transmutation,  a  process  equivalent  to  human  regeneration.  The  name  phcenix  was  also  given  to  one 
of  the  secret  alchemical  formula.  The  familiar  pelican  of  the  Rose  Croix  degree,  feeding  its  young  from 
its  own  breast,  is  in  reality  a  phoenix,  a  fact  which  can  be  confirmed  by  an  examination  of  the  head  of 
the  bird.  The  ungainly  lower  part  of  the  pelican's  beak  is  entirely  missing,  the  head  of  the  phoenix 
being  far  more  like  that  of  an  eagle  than  of  a  pelican.  In  the  Mysteries  it  was  customary  to  refer  to 
initiates  as  phoenixes  or  men  who  had  been  born  again,  for  just  as  physical  birth  gives  man 
consciousness  in  the  physical  world,  so  the  neophyte,  after  nine  degrees  in  the  womb  of  the  Mysteries, 
was  born  into  a  consciousness  of  the  Spiritual  world.  This  is  the  mystery  of  initiation  to  which  Christ 
referred  when  he  said,  "Except  a  man  be  born  again,  he  cannot  see  the  kingdom  of  God"  (John  iii.  3). 
The  phoenix  is  a  fitting  symbol  of  this  spiritual  truth. 

European  mysticism  was  not  dead  at  the  time  the  United  States  of  America  was  founded.  The  hand  of 
the  Mysteries  controlled  in  the  establishment  of  the  new  government,  for  the  signature  of  the 
Mysteries  may  still  be  seen  on  the  Great  Seal  of  the  United  States  of  America.  Careful  analysis  of  the 
seal  discloses  a  mass  of  occult  and  Masonic  symbols,  chief  among  them  the  so-called  American  eagle- 
-a  bird  which  Benjamin  Franklin  declared  unworthy  to  be  chosen  as  the  emblem  of  a  great,  powerful, 
and  progressive  people.  Here  again  only  the  student  of  symbolism  can  see  through  the  subterfuge  and 

realize  that  the  American  eagle  upon  the  Great  Seal  is  but  a  conventionalized  phoenix,  a  fact  plainly 
discernible  from  an  examination  of  the  original  seal.  In  his  sketch  of  The  History  of  the  Seal  of  the 
United  States,  Gaillard  Hunt  unwittingly  brings  forward  much  material  to  substantiate  the  belief  that 
the  original  seal  carried  the  Phoenix  bird  on  its  obverse  surface  and  the  Great  Pyramid  of  Gizeh  upon 
its  reverse  surface.  In  a  colored  sketch  submitted  as  a  design  for  the  Great  Seal  by  William  Barton  in 
1782,  an  actual  phoenix  appears  sitting  upon  a  nest  of  flames.  This  itself  demonstrates  a  tendenqr 
towards  the  use  of  this  emblematic  bird. 


On  the  left  is  the  bird's  head  from  the  first  Great  Seal  of  the  United  States  (1782)  and  on  the  right  the  Great  Seal  of  1902. 
When  the  first  great  Seal  was  actually  cut,  the  bird  represented  upon  it  was  very  different  from  the  eagle  which  now 
appears;  the  neck  was  much  longer  and  the  tuft  of  feathers,  at  the  upper  back  part  of  the  head  was  quite  noticeable;  the 
beak  bore  little  resemblance  to  that  of  the  eagle;  and  the  entire  bird  was  much  thinner  and  its  wings  shorter.  It  requires 
very  little  imagination  to  trace  in  this  first  so-called  eagle  the  mythological  Phoenix  of  antiquity.  What  is  more,  there  is 
every  reason  why  a  phoenix  bird  should  be  used  to  represent  a  new  country  rising  out  of  an  old,  while  as  Benjamin 
Franklin  caustically  noted,  the  eagle  was  not  a  bird  of  good  moral  character! 


From  Wilkinson's  Manners  and  Customs  of  the  Ancient  Egyptians. 

The  Egyptians  occasionally  represented  the  Phoenix  as  having  the  body  of  a  man  and  the  wings  of  a  bird.  This  biform, 
creature  had  a  tuft  of  feathers  upon  its  head  and  its  arms  were  upraised  in  an  attitude  of  prayer.  As  the  phoenix  was  the 
symbol  of  regeneration,  the  tuft  of  feathers  on  the  back  of  its  head  might  well  symbolize  the  activity  of  the  Pineal  gland,  or 
third  eye,  the  occult  function  of  which  was  apparently  well  understood  by  the  ancient  priestcraft. 


From  Hunt's  History  of  the  Seal  of  the  United  States. 

The  significance  of  the  mystical  number  13,  which  frequently  appears  upon  the  Great  Seal  of  the  United  States,  is  not 
limited  to  the  number  of  the  original  colonies.  The  sacred  emblem  of  the  ancient  initiates,  here  composed  of  13  stars,,  also 
appears  above  the  head  of  the  "eagle."  The  motto,  EPluribus  Unum,  contains  13  letters,  as  does  also  the  inscription, 
Annuit  Coeptis.  The  "eagle"  clutches  in  its  right  talon  a  branch  bearing  13  leaves  and  13  berries  and  in  its  left  a  sheaf  of  13 
arrows.  The  face  of  the  pyramid,  exclusive  of  the  panel  containing  the  date,  consists  of  72  stones  arranged  in  13  rows. 

p.  91 

If  any  one  doubts  the  presence  of  Masonic  and  occult  influences  at  the  time  the  Great  Seal  was 
designed,  he  should  give  due  consideration  to  the  comments  of  Professor  Charles  Eliot  Norton  of 
Harvard,  who  wrote  concerning  the  unfinished  pyramid  and  the  All-Seeing  Eye  which  adorned  the 
reverse  of  the  seal,  as  follows:  "The  device  adopted  by  Congress  is  practically  incapable  of  effective 
treatment;  it  can  hardly  (however  artistically  treated  by  the  designer)  look  otherwise  than  as  a  dull 
emblem  of  a  Masonic  fraternity."  (The  History  of  the  Seal  of  the  United  States.) 

The  eagles  of  Napoleon  and  Caesar  and  the  zodiacal  eagle  of  Scorpio  are  really  phoenixes,  for  the  latter 
bird—not  the  eagle—is  the  symbol  of  spiritual  victory  and  achievement.  Masonry  will  be  in  a  position 
to  solve  many  of  the  secrets  of  its  esoteric  doctrine  when  it  realizes  that  both  its  single-  and  double- 
headed  eagles  are  phoenixes,  and  that  to  all  initiates  and  philosophers  the  phoenix  is  the  symbol  of  the 
transmutation  and  regeneration  of  the  creative  energy— commonly  called  the  accomplishment  of  the 
Great  Work.  The  double-headed  phoenix  is  the  prototype  of  an  androgynous  man,  for  according  to  the 
secret  teachings  there  will  come  a  time  when  the  human  body  will  have  two  spinal  cords,  by  means  of 
which  vibratory  equilibrium  will  be  maintained  in  the  body. 

Not  only  were  many  of  the  founders  of  the  United  States  Government  Masons,  but  they  received  aid 
from  a  secret  and  august  body  existing  in  Europe,  which  helped  them  to  establish  this  country  for  a 
peculiar  and  particular  purpose  known  only  to  the  initiated  few.  The  Great  Seal  is  the  signature  of  this 
exalted  body— unseen  and  for  the  most  part  unknown— and  the  unfinished  pyramid  upon  its  reverse 
side  is  a  trestleboard  setting  forth  symbolically  the  task  to  the  accomplishment  of  which  the  United 
States  Government  was  dedicated  ftom  the  day  of  its  inception. 


The  lion  is  the  king  of  the  animal  family  and,  like  the  head  of  each  kingdom,  is  sacred  to  the  sun, 
whose  rays  are  symbolized  by  the  lion's  shaggy  mane.  The  allegories  perpetuated  by  the  Mysteries 
(such  as  the  one  to  the  effect  that  the  lion  opens  the  secret  book)  signify  that  the  solar  power  opens 
the  seed  pods,  releasing  the  spiritual  life  within.  There  was  also  a  curious  belief  among  the  ancients 
that  the  lion  sleeps  with  his  eyes  open,  and  for  this  reason  the  animal  was  chosen  as  a  symbol  of 
vigilance.  The  figure  of  a  lion  placed  on  either  side  of  doors  and  gateways  is  an  emblem  of  divine 
guardianship.  King  Solomon  was  often  symbolized  as  a  lion.  For  ages  the  feline  family  has  been 
regarded  with  peculiar  veneration.  In  several  of  the  Mysteries— most  notably  the  Egyptian— the  priests 
wore  the  skins  of  lions,  tigers,  panthers,  pumas,  or  leopards.  Hercules  and  Samson  (both  solar 
symbols)  slew  the  lion  of  the  constellation  of  Leo  and  robed  themselves  in  his  skin,  thus  signifying 
that  they  represented  the  sun  itself  when  at  the  summit  of  the  celestial  arch. 

At  Bubastis  in  Egypt  was  the  temple  of  the  famous  goddess  Bast,  the  cat  deity  of  the  Ptolemies.  The 
Egyptians  paid  homage  to  the  cat,  especially  when  its  fur  was  of  three  shades  or  its  eyes  of  different 
colors.  To  the  priests  the  cat  was  symbolic  of  the  magnetic  forces  of  Nature,  and  they  surrounded 
themselves  with  these  animals  for  the  sake  of  the  astral  fire  which  emanated  from  their  bodies.  The 
cat  was  also  a  symbol  of  eternity,  for  when  it  sleeps  it  curls  up  into  a  ball  with  its  head  and  tail 
touching.  Among  the  Greeks  and  Latins  the  cat  was  sacred  to  the  goddess  Diana.  The  Buddhists  of 
India  invested  the  cat  with  special  significance,  but  for  a  different  reason.  The  cat  was  the  only  animal 
absent  at  the  death  of  the  great  Buddha,  because  it  had  stopped  on  the  way  to  chase  a  mouse.  That  the 
symbol  of  the  lower  astral  forces  should  not  be  present  at  the  liberation  of  the  Buddha  is  significant. 

Regarding  the  cat,  Herodotus  says:  "Whenever  a  fire  breaks  out,  cats  are  agitated  with  a  kind  of  divine 
motion,  which  they  that  keep  them  observe,  neglecting  the  fire:  The  cats,  however,  in  spite  of  their 
care,  break  from  them,  leaping  even  over  the  heads  of  their  keepers  to  throw  themselves  into  the  fire. 
The  Egyptians  then  make  great  mourning  for  their  death.  If  a  cat  dies  a  natural  death  in  a  house,  all 
they  of  that  house  shave  their  eyebrows:  If  a  dog,  they  shave  the  head  and  all  the  body.  They  used  to 
embalm  their  dead  cats,  and  carry  them  to  Bubastis  to  be  interred  in  a  sacred  house.  (Montfaucon's 

The  most  important  of  all  symbolic  animals  was  the  Apis,  or  Egyptian  bull  of  Memphis,  which  was 
regarded  as  the  sacred  vehicle  for  the  transmigration  of  the  soul  of  the  god  Osiris.  It  was  declared  that 
the  Apis  was  conceived  by  a  bolt  of  lightning,  and  the  ceremony  attendant  upon  its  selection  and 
consecration  was  one  of  the  most  impressive  in  Egyptian  ritualism.  The  Apis  had  to  be  marked  in  a 
certain  manner.  Herodotus  states  that  the  bull  must  be  black  with  a  square  white  spot  on  his  forehead, 
the  form  of  an  eagle  (probably  a  vulture)  on  his  back,  a  beetle  upon  (under)  his  tongue,  and  the  hair  of 
his  tail  lying  two  ways.  Other  writers  declare  that  the  sacred  bull  was  marked  with  twenty-nine  sacred 
symbols,  his  body  was  spotted,  and  upon  his  right  side  was  a  white  mark  in  the  form  of  a  crescent. 
After  its  sanctification  the  Apis  was  kept  in  a  stable  adjacent  to  the  temple  and  led  in  processionals 
through  the  streets  of  the  city  upon  certain  solemn  occasions.  It  was  a  popular  belief  among  the 
Egyptians  that  any  child  upon  whom  the  bull  breathed  would  become  illustrious.  After  reaching  a 
certain  age  (twenty-five  years)  the  Apis  was  taken  either  to  the  river  Nile  or  to  a  sacred  fountain 
(authorities  differ  on  this  point)  and  drowned,  amidst  the  lamentations  of  the  populace.  The 
mourning  and  wailing  for  his  death  continued  until  the  new  Apis  was  found,  when  it  was  declared 
that  Osiris  had  reincarnated,  whereupon  rejoicing  took  the  place  of  grief. 

The  worship  of  the  bull  was  not  confined  to  Egypt,  but  was  prevalent  in  many  nations  of  the  ancient 
world.  In  India,  Nandi~the  sacred  white  bull  of  Siva~is  still  the  object  of  much  veneration;  and  both 
the  Persians  and  the  Jews  accepted  the  bull  as  an  important  religious  symbol.  The  Assyrians, 
Phoenicians,  Chaldeans,  and  even  the  Greeks  reverenced  this  animal,  and  Jupiter  turned  himself  into 
a  white  bull  to  abduct  Europa.  The  bull  was  a  powerful  phallic  emblem  signifying  the  paternal  creative 
power  of  the  Demiurgus.  At  his  death  he  was  frequently  mummified  and  buried  with  the  pomp  and 
dignity  of  a  god  in  a  specially  prepared  sarcophagus.  Excavations  in  the  Serapeum  at  Memphis  have 
uncovered  the  tombs  of  more  than  sixty  of  these  sacred  animals. 

As  the  sign  rising  over  the  horizon  at  the  vernal  equinox  constitutes  the  starry  body  for  the  annual 
incarnation  of  the  sun,  the  bull  not  only  was  the  celestial  symbol  of  the  Solar  Man  but,  because  the 
vernal  equinox  took  place  in  the  constellation  of  Taurus,  was  called  the  breaker  or  opener  of  the  year. 
For  this  reason  in  astronomical  symbolism  the  bull  is  often  shown  breaking  the  annular  egg  with  his 
horns.  The  Apis  further  signifies  that  the  God-Mind  is  incarnated  in  the  body  of  a  beast  and  therefore 
that  the  physical  beast  form  is  the  sacred  vehicle  of  divinity.  Man's  lower  personality  is  the  Apis  in 
which  Osiris  incarnates.  The  result  of  the  combination  is  the  creation  of  Sor-Apis  (Serapis)-the 
material  soul  as  ruler  of  the  irrational  material  body  and  involved  therein.  After  a  certain  period 
(which  is  determined  by  the  square  of  five,  or  twenty-five  years),  the  body  of  the  Apis  is  destroyed  and 
the  soul  liberated  by  the  water  which  drowns  the  material  life.  This  was  indicative  of  the  washing 
away  of  the  material  nature  by  the  baptismal  waters  of  divine  light  and  truth.  The  drowning  of  the 
Apis  is  the  symbol  of  death;  the  resurrection  of  Osiris  in  the  new  bull  is  the  symbol  of  eternal 
renovation.  The  white  bull  was  also  symbolically  sacred  as  the  appointed  emblem  of  the  initiates, 
signifying  the  spiritualized  material  bodies  of  both  man  and  Nature. 

When  the  vernal  equinox  no  longer  occurred  in  the  sign  of  Taurus,  the  Sun  God  incarnated  in  the 
constellation  of  Aries  and  the  ram  then  became  the  vehicle  of  the  solar  power.  Thus  the  sun  rising  in 
the  sign  of  the  Celestial  Lamb  triumphs  over  the  symbolic  serpent  of  darkness.  The  lamb  is  a  familiar 
emblem  of  purity  because  of  its  gentleness  and  the  whiteness  of  its  wool.  In  many  of  the  pagan 
Mysteries  it  signified  the  Universal  Savior,  and  in  Christianity  it  is  the  favorite  symbol  of  Christ.  Early 

church  paintings  show  a  lamb  standing  upon  a  Httle  hill,  and  from  its  feet  pour  four  streams  of  living 
water  signifying  the  four  Gospels.  The  blood  of  the  lamb  is  the  solar  life  pouring  into  the  world 
through  the  sign  of  Aries. 

The  goat  is  both  a  phallic  symbol  and  also  an  emblem  of  courage  or  aspiration  because  of  its 
surefootedness  and  ability  to  scale  the  loftiest  peaks.  To  the  alchemists  the  goat's  head  was  the  symbol 
of  sulphur.  The  practice  among  the  ancient  Jews  of  choosing  a  scapegoat  upon  which  to  heap  the  sins 
of  mankind  is  merely  an  allegorical 

p.  09100 

From  Kircher's  Sphinx  Mystagoga. 


The  importance  of  the  bull  as  the  symbol  of  the  sun  at  the  vernal  equinox  is  discussed  in  the  chapter 
on  The  Zodiac  and  Its  Signs.  The  bull  and  the  ox  are  ancient  emblems  of  the  element  of  earth- 
consequently  of  the  planet  itself.  They  also  signify  the  animal  nature  of  man,  and  for  this  reason  were 
sacrificed  upon  the  altars  of  such  ancient  Mysteries  as  the  Jewish  and  Druidic.  Plutarch  wrote:  "The 
Apis  ought  to  be  regarded  by  us,  as  a  fair  and  beautiful  image  of  the  soul  of  Osiris."  Osiris  represents 
the  spiritual  nature  of  the  lower  world  which  is  murdered  and  distributed  throughout  the  substance 
of  the  physical  spheres;  Apis  is  the  emblem  of  the  material  world  within  which  is  the  spiritual  nature- 
-Osiris.  The  Apis  is  also  the  symbol  of  the  exoteric  (or  profane)  doctrine,  in  contradistinction  to  the 
esoteric  (or  divine)  teachings  represented  by  the  urseus  worn  upon  the  foreheads  of  the  priests.  Front 
this  is  derived  the  mythological  allegory  of  Serapis,  who  in  a  certain  sense  is  not  only  the  composite 
figure  of  Osiris  and  the  lower  world  in  which  he  is  incarnated  but  also  of  the  Mysteries,  which  are  the 
terrestrial  bodies  containing  the  secret  teachings,  or  the  spiritual  soul. 

p.  92 

depiction  of  the  Sun  Man  who  is  the  scapegoat  of  the  world  and  upon  whom  are  cast  the  sins  of  the 
twelve  houses  (tribes)  of  the  celestial  universe.  Truth  is  the  Divine  Lamb  worshiped  throughout 
pagandom  and  slain  for  the  sins  of  the  world,  and  since  the  dawn  of  time  the  Savior  Gods  of  all 
religions  have  been  personifications  of  this  Truth.  The  Golden  Fleece  sought  by  Jason  and  his 
Argonauts  is  the  Celestial  Lamb—the  spiritual  and  intellectual  sun.  The  secret  doctrine  is  also  typified 
by  the  Golden  Fleece— the  wool  of  the  Divine  Life,  the  rays  of  the  Sun  of  Truth.  Suidas  declares  the 
Golden  Fleece  to  have  been  in  reality  a  book,  written  upon  skin,  which  contained  the  formulae  for  the 
production  of  gold  by  means  of  chemistry.  The  Mysteries  were  institutions  erected  for  the 
transmutation  of  base  ignorance  into  precious  illumination.  The  dragon  of  ignorance  was  the  terrible 
creature  set  to  guard  the  Golden  Fleece,  and  represents  the  darkness  of  the  old  year  which  battles 
with  the  sun  at  the  time  of  its  equinoctial  passage. 

Deer  were  sacred  in  the  Bacchic  Mysteries  of  the  Greeks;  the  Bacchantes  were  often  clothed  in 
fawnskins.  Deer  were  associated  with  the  worship  of  the  moon  goddess  and  the  Bacchic  orgies  were 
usually  conducted  at  night.  The  grace  and  speed  of  this  animal  caused  it  to  be  accepted  as  the  proper 
symbol  of  esthetic  abandon.  Deer  were  objects  of  veneration  with  many  nations.  In  Japan,  herds  of 
them  are  still  maintained  in  connection  with  the  temples. 

The  wolf  is  usually  associated  with  the  principle  of  evil,  because  of  the  mournful  discordance  of  its 
howl  and  the  viciousness  of  its  nature.  In  Scandinavian  mythology  the  Fenris  Wolf  was  one  of  the 
sons  of  Loki,  the  infernal  god  of  the  fires.  With  the  temple  of  Asgard  in  flames  about  them,  the  gods 
under  the  command  of  Odin  fought  their  last  great  battle  against  the  chaotic  forces  of  evil.  With 
frothing  jowls  the  Fenris  Wolf  devoured  Odin,  the  Father  of  the  Gods,  and  thus  destroyed  the  Odinic 

universe.  Here  the  Fenris  Wolf  represents  those  mindless  powers  of  Nature  that  overthrew  the 
primitive  creation. 

The  unicorn,  or  monoceros,  was  a  most  curious  creation  of  the  ancient  initiates.  It  is  described  by 
Thomas  Boreman  as  "a  beast,  which  though  doubted  of  by  many  writers,  yet  is  by  others  thus 
described:  He  has  but  one  horn,  and  that  an  exceedingly  rich  one,  growing  out  of  the  middle  of  his 
forehead.  His  head  resembles  an  hart's,  his  feet  an  elephant's,  his  tail  a  boar's,  and  the  rest  of  his  body 
an  horse's.  The  horn  is  about  a  foot  and  half  in  length.  His  voice  is  like  the  lowing  of  an  ox.  His  mane 
and  hair  are  of  a  yellowish  colour.  His  horn  is  as  hard  as  iron,  and  as  rough  as  any  file,  twisted  or 
curled,  like  a  flaming  sword;  very  straight,  sharp,  and  everywhere  black,  excepting  the  point.  Great 
virtues  are  attributed  to  it,  in  expelling  of  poison  and  curing  of  several  diseases.  He  is  not  a  beast  of 
prey. "  (See  Redgrove's  Bygone  Beliefs.) 

While  the  unicorn  is  mentioned  several  times  in  Scripture,  no  proof  has  yet  been  discovered  of  its 
existence.  There  are  a  number  of  drinking  horns  in  various  museums  presumably  fashioned  from  its 
spike.  It  is  reasonably  certain,  however,  that  these  drinking  vessels  were  really  made  either  from  the 
tusks  of  some  large  mammal  or  the  horn  of  a  rhinoceros.  J.  P.  Lundy  believes  that  the  horn  of  the 
unicorn  symbolizes  the  hem  of  salvation  mentioned  by  St.  Luke  which,  pricking  the  hearts  of  men, 
turns  them  to  a  consideration  of  salvation  through  Christ.  Mediaeval  Christian  mystics  employed  the 
unicorn  as  an  emblem  of  Christ,  and  this  creature  must  therefore  signify  the  spiritual  life  in  man.  The 
single  horn  of  the  unicorn  may  represent  the  pineal  gland,  or  third  eye,  which  is  the  spiritual 
cognition  center  in  the  brain.  The  unicorn  was  adopted  by  the  Mysteries  as  a  symbol  of  the  illumined 
spiritual  nature  of  the  initiate,  the  horn  with  which  it  defends  itself  being  the  flaming  sword  of  the 
spiritual  doctrine  against,  which  nothing  can  prevail. 

In  the  Book  of  Lambspring ,  a  rare  Hermetic  tract,  appears  an  engraving  showing  a  deer  and  a 
unicorn  standing  together  in  a  wood.  The  picture  is  accompanied  by  the  following  text:  "The  Sages  say 
truly  that  two  animals  are  in  this  forest:  One  glorious,  beautiful,  and  swift,  a  great  and  strong  deer; 
the  other  an  unicorn.  *  *  *  If  we  apply  the  parable  of  our  art,  we  shall  call  the  forest  the  body.  *  *  *  The 
unicorn  will  be  the  spirit  at  all  times.  The  deer  desires  no  other  name  but  that  of  the  soul;  *  *  *.  He 
that  knows  how  to  tame  and  master  them  by  art,  to  couple  them  together,  and  to  lead  them  in  and  our 
of  the  form,  may  justly  be  called  a  Master." 

The  Egyptian  devil,  Typhon,  was  often  symbolized  by  the  Set  monster  whose  identity  is  obscure.  It 
has  a  queer  snoutlike  nose  and  pointed  ears,  and  may  have  been  a  conventional  hyena.  The  Set 
monster  lived  in  the  sand  storms  and  wandered  about  the  world  promulgating  evil.  The  Egyptians 
related  the  howling  of  the  desert  winds  with  the  moaning  cry  of  the  hyena.  Thus  when  in  the  depths  of 
the  night  the  hyena  sent  forth  its  doleful  wail  it  sounded  like  the  last  despairing  cry  of  a  lost  soul  in 
the  clutches  of  Typhon.  Among  the  duties  of  this  evil  creature  was  that  of  protecting  the  Egyptian 
dead  against:  grave  robbers. 

Among  other  symbols  of  Typhon  was  the  hippopotamus,  sacred  to  the  god  Mars  because  Mars  was 
enthroned  in  the  sign  of  Scorpio,  the  house  of  Typhon.  The  ass  was  also  sacred  to  this  Egyptian 
demon.  Jesus  riding  into  Jerusalem  upon  the  back  of  an  ass  has  the  same  significance  as  Hermes 
standing  upon  the  prostrate  form  of  Typhon.  The  early  Christians  were  accused  of  worshiping  the 
head  of  an  ass.  A  most  curious  animal  symbol  is  the  hog  or  sow,  sacred  to  Diana,  and  frequently 
employed  in  the  Mysteries  as  an  emblem  of  the  occult  art.  The  wild  boar  which  gored  Atys  shows  the 
use  of  this  animal  in  the  Mysteries. 

According  to  the  Mysteries,  the  monkey  represents  the  condition  of  man  before  the  rational  soul 
entered  into  his  constitution.  Therefore  it  typifies  the  irrational  man.  By  some  the  monkey  is  looked 

upon  as  a  species  not  ensouled  by  the  spiritual  hierarchies;  by  others  as  a  fallen  state  wherein  man 
has  been  deprived  of  his  divine  nature  through  degeneracy.  The  ancients,  though  evolutionists,  did 

not  trace  man's  ascent  through  the  monkey;  the  monkey  they  considered  as  having  separated  itself 
from  the  main  stem  of  progress.  The  monkey  was  occasionally  employed  as  a  symbol  of  learning. 
Cynocephalus,  the  dog-headed  ape,  was  the  Egyptian  hieroglyphic  symbol  of  writing,  and  was  closely 
associated  with  Thoth.  Cynocephalus  is  symbolic  of  the  moon  and  Thoth  of  the  planet  Mercury. 
Because  of  the  ancient  belief  that  the  moon  followed  Mercury  about  the  heavens  the  dog-ape  was 
described  as  the  faithful  companion  of  Thoth. 

The  dog,  because  of  its  faithfulness,  denotes  the  relationship  which  should  exist  between  disciple  and 
master  or  between  the  initiate  and  his  God.  The  shepherd  dog  was  a  type  of  the  priestcraft.  The  dog's 
ability  to  sense  and  follow  unseen  persons  for  miles  symbolized  the  transcendental  power  by  which 
the  philosopher  follows  the  thread  of  truth  through  the  labyrinth  of  earthly  error.  The  dog  is  also  the 
symbol  of  Mercury.  The  Dog  Star,  Sirius  or  Sothis,  was  sacred  to  the  Egyptians  because  it  presaged 
the  annual  inundations  of  the  Nile. 

As  a  beast  of  burden  the  horse  was  the  symbol  of  the  body  of  man  forced  to  sustain  the  weight  of  his 
spiritual  constitution.  Conversely,  it  also  typified  the  spiritual  nature  of  man  forced  to  maintain  the 
burden  of  the  material  personality.  Chiron,  the  centaur,  mentor  of  Achilles,  represents  the  primitive 
creation  which  was  the  progenitor  and  instructor  of  mankind,  as  described  by  Berossus.  The  win